Saudi Arabia’s dilemma is shown quite neatly by its decision to raise crude oil prices for Asian refiners even though the kingdom is steadily surrendering market share in China, its biggest customer. Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, lifted the official selling price for its benchmark Arab Light grade to Asian refiners by 60c a barrel for July shipments, according to a statement released on Sunday. Arab Light cargoes for July will now be sold at a discount of 25c a barrel to the Oman-Dubai crude price, up from a discount of 85c for June shipments. The increase in the official selling price had been expected by the market, although it was by a wider margin than forecast in a Reuters survey of six Asian refiners and traders, with the increase of 60c beating even the top estimate of 50c in the poll. Saudi Aramco sets the official selling price based on recommendations from customers and after calculating the change in the value of its oil over the past month, based on yields a...

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