Some Chinese and Indian refiners will receive less crude oil from Saudi Arabia after the world’s top exporter raised its official selling price to record levels.
China’s request for lower volumes followed that of India, where at least two refiners had planned to buy less Saudi oil than usual in May after state oil producer Saudi Aramco raised crude prices for all regions, with those to Asia hitting all-time highs.
Refiners are expected to seek more crude in the spot market as cash prices for key grades produced in the Middle East slumped this week to two-month lows.
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One of the Chinese buyers opted for a cut in supplies below contract volumes while another trimmed its volume marginally for May, said the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
One of the Indian refiners will receive less crude as requested, one of the sources said. There was no immediate word on the other refiner’s request.
Separately, at least one Japanese refiner has received full contract volumes for May, another source said.
Indian refiners have bought at least 16 million barrels of cheaper Russian oil for May loading on a delivered basis, similar to purchases for the whole of 2021, according to Reuters calculations, reducing their demand for similar quality Middle East oil.
- Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell
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