Saudis raise oil prices for buyers in Asia and the U.S. This signaling sees demand staying strong despite the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus.
The move comes days after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies. It is a 23-nation group led by Saudi Arabia and Russia — surprised traders with a decision to boost crude output.
Saudi Aramco increased January’s prices for all crude grades that will be shipped to Asia and to the U.S., according to a statement from the state producer. The company raised its key Arab Light grade for customers in Asia by 60 cents from December to $3.30 a barrel above a benchmark. That’s the most expensive it’s been since February 2020, around when the pandemic first struck.
Prices for the U.S. will go up by between 40 and 60 cents.
OPEC+ opted on Thursday to proceed with a production increase for next month, even as new Covid-19 cases threaten to sap demand and with the alliance predicting the oil market will flip from a supply deficit to a surplus in early 2022.
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