Saudi Aramco has told at least four customers in North Asia they will receive full contract volumes of crude oil in March , citing several sources with knowledge of the matter.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter, unexpectedly raised the official selling prices for its flagship Arab Light in March amid hopes for a rebound in demand, particularly from China after Beijing ditched its zero-COVID strategy.
State-controlled Saudi Aramco increased the official selling prices for crude to $2 a barrel above the regional benchmark, 20 cents more than the price for this month.
“The official selling price decision suggests the Saudis see good demand in Asia,” Bob McNally, president of Rapidan Energy Group and a former White House official, told Bloomberg Television. It’s likely that China will be “back in business in the second quarter.”
Many OPEC members have sounded bullish about China — perhaps the single-biggest factor determining oil-price moves this year .
The group’s secretary-general, Haitham al-Ghais, said he was more upbeat on China. And the head of Kuwait’s state energy company said to Bloomberg that consumption in the world’s biggest crude importer was already on the rise and that it’s “not a dead-cat bounce.”