Saudi Arabia Raises Oil Prices for Asia to Record Levels

Saudi Arabia raised oil prices for buyers in Asia to record levels, a sign the world’s largest exporter sees the region’s market remaining tight, Bloomberg News reported. Despite indications that slowing economies are starting to hit global demand for crude, state producer Saudi Aramco increased its Arab Light grade for next month’s shipments to Asian refineries to $9.80 a barrel above the Middle Eastern benchmark. That’s 50 cents more than in August. Still, traders and refiners had expected a bigger jump of $1.50, according to a Bloomberg survey in late July. That was before data emerged this week showing that Americans are driving less than they did in the summer of 2020, when coronavirus travel curbs all but halted movement. Yet many major oil producers are facing supply problems, leaving the market tight. Analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said this week that demand exceeds output by around 2 million barrels a day. Consumption in many Asian countries is continuing to recover from pandemic lockdowns. Read more.