Saudi Arabia on Thursday was announced high selling prices of crude oil to Asian buyers. The remarkably high increase of 50 cents a barrel was even lower than some forecasts, which had expected as much as $1.50 a barrel.
Bloomberg News supposedly The Saudis kept their Asian price hike at fifty cents as demand for oil from the United States unexpectedly fell due to reduced summer driving. In fact, the latest surveys show that Americans are driving even less than they did at the height of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s national oil company, also raised US prices by fifty cents a barrel as part of a humiliating rebuke to the Biden administration’s demand for increased production to lower US pump prices. The Saudis increased production by one of the narrowest margins in Aramco’s history and raised prices.
Asia is Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil market, with its top four customers being China, India, South Korea and Japan. China and India are the fastest growing fossil fuel markets in the world, accounting for most of the increased global energy demand.
Saudi Arabian oil prices for Asia were increasing fairly steady since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in part because some of Russia’s regional oil customers have been wary of doing business with it. Asian buyers have been willing to absorb the price increases because their refiners are making record profits.
Russian oil businesses, meanwhile, are doing well despite these reluctant buyers because China and India have a bottomless appetite for Russian crude. As a vital strategic ally of the United States, India knows that the U.S. is unlikely to intervene in purchases of deeply discounted Russian oil.