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The New Arab

Aramco cuts Asia oil prices amid slipping market share

Saudi Arabia has made deep cuts to its oil production levels since last year [AFP]

Date of publication: 2 May, 2017

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The world's largest exporter of crude cuts oil prices in its largest market in a defensive move against rival exporters Iran and Iraq.
Saudi Arabia has cut oil pricing for its June oil exports to Asia amid losses in its biggest regional market.

State-owned Saudi Aramco said in a statement that it had lowered official pricing for Arab Light Crude to Asia by 40 cents, while raising its prices for all other regions.

The oil giant raised pricing for all grades of oil to the US for the second month in a row. Cuts made to pricing for Europe and the Mediterranean last month were also now reversed by rises.

Since agreeing to cut its oil output as part of OPEC's agreement on curbing production, Saudi Arabia has ceded some of its market share to economic and political rivals Iran and Iraq.

The kingdom has made deeper cuts than the limits agreed with OPEC, while also indicating that they may yet get deeper.

OPEC members and 11 other oil-producing nations agreed to cut production by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first half of 2017. The move aimed to allow the global market to recover from a slump in prices that fell to less than half of the 2014 high.

The cartel will review whether to extend the production cut at the end of June, however Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has already said that there is consensus that it will continue.

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