According to a price list seen by Bloomberg, the state-owned Saudi Aramco raised the cost of its iconic Arab Light to Asia in October by 10 cents to $3.60 a barrel over the average. The hike was less than the 30-cent increase projected in a Bloomberg survey, but being the highest since December.
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For supplies coming to the US, the de facto head of OPEC raised prices for all grades by 20 cents a barrel, setting a new record.
Following Saudi Arabia's statement this week that supply curbs will be extended through December, the action was taken. In light of Russia's own export limitations being extended, it will continue to produce at the lowest level in several years, 9 million barrels per day.
This has led to optimism that the oil market would have a successful year in 2023. Brent crude futures recently exceeded $90 per barrel after months of supply limitations, and some traders are betting on $100.
For European purchasers who had lately gone through a run of major price rises, there was some relief. The list showed that although supply costs into the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe are still historically high, Aramco decreased them by 10 cents per barrel.
European oil users were compelled to explore for alternatives, and many have now shifted to sweet, or low-sulfur, oil.
The cost of higher sulphur crude, which makes up the majority of the Saudi supply reduction, has risen since the start of the year. As a result, benchmark Brent crude futures occasionally traded at substantial discounts to Middle Eastern barrels of poorer quality.