An oil tanker is loaded at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia. Picture: REUTERS
An oil tanker is loaded at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia. Picture: REUTERS

Dubai — Saudi Arabia cut pricing for August sales of its light oil grade to Asia as the world’s biggest crude exporter increases production to assure buyers there is sufficient supply following US President Donald Trump’s demands that oil cartel Opec do more to stabilise oil markets.

Oil extended its losses after state-owned Saudi Aramco cut most pricing for Asian, European and US markets. The company cut its official selling prices for Arab Light crude to buyers in Asia to $1.90 a barrel above the Middle East benchmark, the company said on Thursday in an e-mailed price list.

The 20c reduction was the first cut in four months from the highest since July 2014 and matched expectations of four traders in a Bloomberg survey.

"REDUCE PRICING NOW!" Trump tweeted on Wednesday, demanding that Opec do more to help reduce US petrol costs.

Trump said on Sunday that Opec should put another 2-million barrels on the market to make up for the coming shortfall in Iranian crude sales due to US sanctions.

Opec and partners agreed on June 23 to increase oil production, with the Saudi and Russian energy ministers saying it would add about 1-million barrels per day (bpd) to the market. Brent crude rose 5.2% in the first week after the agreement as production losses in Libya and Venezuela and the prospect of lower Iranian exports more than made up for promises of more Saudi crude.

The global benchmark slipped 23c, or 0.3%, to $78.01 a barrel at 2.05pm in London.

With assistance from Serene Cheong, Sharon Cho and Tsuyoshi Inajima

Bloomberg

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