A general view of a crude oil importing port in Qingdao, Shandong province- Reuters
SINGAPORE - 4 September: Saudi Aramco has raised its October price for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers by $0.55 a barrel versus September to a premium of $0.30 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.
The price hikes come on the back of a stronger market structure for Middle East crude benchmark Dubai and refining margins which hit a near two-year high on Sept. 1 after storm Harvey disrupted fuel supplies in the United States.
The October price for Arab Light is at the highest since December, exceeding expectations for a 20-50 cents hike in a Reuters survey conducted last week.
An 80-cent hike for Arab Extra Light also topped the survey's forecast for a 20-60-cent rise.
The higher-than-expected prices may push Asian refiners to seek incremental supplies in the spot market, such as Murban and Qatar Land crude, when November-loading cargoes commence trading later this month, a Singapore-based trader said.
Price hikes for heavier grades, Arab Medium and Arab Heavy, were within market's expectation.
Refiners across Asia are cranking up output to send fuel to the United States, where fallout from Hurricane Harvey has left around a quarter of the nation's refineries shut down.