By Anthony Di Paola
Aramco raised pricing for crude grades to Asia by between $5.60 and $7.30 a barrel — more than expected. Pricing for the key Arab Light grade to Asia was hiked by $6.10 to a premium of 20 cents a barrel over the benchmark.
The company was expected to raise its official pricing for July sales of the grade to Asia by about $4 a barrel, with a discount ranging from 80 cents to $1.90 a barrel, according to median estimates in a Bloomberg survey of eight traders and refiners.
Unprecedented output cuts led by the Saudis and Russia tightened markets in May and boosted prices. With the coronavirus gutting energy demand, the OPEC+ group decided Saturday to extend those output limits at almost the same level through July instead of tapering them as planned at the end of June. Aramco, which typically announces pricing on the fifth day of each month, had delayed its July numbers until after OPEC+ members made their decision.
Brent crude, down 36% this year, has clawed back some of its losses and ended trading on Friday at more than $40 a barrel for the first time since March.