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Saudi Bank Raises Arab Light Forecast on Supply Uncertainty

March 26 (Bloomberg) -- Arab Light crude, which makes up about 50 percent of Saudi Arabia’s oil output, will average $105 a barrel this year, according to National Commercial Bank, the kingdom’s largest bank by assets.

The lender raised its estimate by $10 from its previous forecast of $95, NCB said today in an e-mailed report. Arab Light averaged about $107.80 last year, helping Saudi Arabia to report a record budget surplus, the bank said in December.

Saudi crude prices have exceeded expectations this year because of supply uncertainty, Jarmo Kotilaine, chief economist at Jeddah-based lender, said in an e-mail. “Demand is still growing while the supply risk issues have not been conclusively dealt with,” he said.

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., or Saudi Aramco as the state producer is known, pumps five grades of crude that range from Arab Heavy to Arab Super Light, according to the company’s website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Wael Mahdi in Khobar, Saudi Arabia at wmahdi@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net.

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