Saudis Keep Light Crude Flat to Asia for First Time Since 2011

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Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest crude exporter, kept pricing for June Arab Light oil sales to Asia unchanged for the first time since February 2011.

Arab Light will sell at 60 cents a barrel below the regional benchmark for buyers in Asia in June, state-owned Saudi Arabian Oil Co., known as Saudi Aramco, said in an e-mailed statement on Tuesday. Saudi Arabia was expected to cut pricing for the grade by 10 cents, according to the median estimate of nine refiners and traders in a Bloomberg survey.

Brent, the global oil benchmark, fell 48 percent last year as Saudi Arabia and other OPEC members chose to protect market share over cutting output to boost prices. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries decided on Nov. 27 to keep its output target unchanged amid burgeoning supply from areas such as North American and Russia. The group is next set to meet June 5 in Vienna.

Saudi Aramco raised the official selling price for Arab Light crude to the U.S. by 20 cents a barrel to a premium of $1.55 a barrel, according to the statement.

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