DUBAI - Saudi Arabia's state oil producer Aramco has hiked official selling prices (OSPs) for its crude to Asia by $1 a barrel in August, and raised the OSPs for almost all grades to Europe and the United States.
Saudi Arabia has set the August price to Asia at plus $1.20 a barrel versus the Oman/Dubai average, Aramco said in a statement on Monday.
The increase was in line with market expectations on rising Middle East benchmarks and a rebound in Asian refining margins, a Reuters survey found.
Although the rise in the OSPs is likely to discourage demand for Saudi barrels, it could encourage the use of crude from inventories, which would provide broad support for oil prices, industry sources and analysts say.
OPEC and other producers including Russia, collectively known as OPEC+, have agreed to cut output by a record 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for a third month in July as part of a global pact to support prices and demand.
Oil prices were mixed on Monday, with Brent crude edging higher, supported by tighter supplies, while U.S. benchmark WTI futures dropped on concern a spike in coronavirus infections could curb oil demand in the United States.
Aramco raised the price of its Arab Light crude to the United States to a premium of $1.65 per barrel over ASCI (Argus Sour Crude Index), up $0.30 from July, the document showed.
It also increased the Arab Light OSP to Northwestern Europe to plus $0.70 a barrel over ICE Brent, up $0.40 from the previous month.
Saudi crude OSPs set the trend for Iranian, Kuwaiti and Iraqi prices, affecting more than 12 million bpd of crude bound for Asia.
(Reporting by Dahlia Nehme; editing by Jason Neely, Rania El Gamal and Barbara Lewis)