China is set to import 40% more crude from Saudi Arabia under term contracts in September despite the unilateral production cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of the world’s top crude oil exporter, traders told Bloomberg on Friday.
Chinese refiners are estimated to receive as much as 52 million barrels of crude oil cargoes next month, compared to about 37 million barrels set to arrive in August, the traders participating in the market told Bloomberg. The significant increase will come from the start of a new supply contract between Saudi oil giant Aramco and Chinese refiner Rongsheng Petrochemical Co.
Under an agreement signed by Aramco and Rongsheng Petrochemical last month, the Saudi firm successfully closed the transaction to buy a 10% stake in the Chinese refiner for $3.4 billion (24.6 billion Chinese yuan). The deal includes the supply of 480,000 bpd of Arabian crude to the largest Chinese integrated refining and chemicals complex, which is owned by Rongsheng affiliate Zhejiang Petroleum and Chemical Co. Ltd (ZPC).
Last week, Saudi Arabia said it would extend its unilateral voluntary cut of 1 million bpd from July and August into September, adding that the cut could be extended or extended and deepened.
The Kingdom’s production for the month of September 2023 will be around 9 million bpd, as it is in July and August.
Despite the cut, Saudi Arabia is expected to supply full crude oil volumes in September under contracts with Asian buyers.
Saudi Aramco raised the official selling price (OSP) for its Arab Light crude oil grade to Asia by $0.30 per barrel for the month of September, to $3.50 above the Oman/Dubai average, the company said earlier this month. Aramco also raised the price of its Arab Light crude to Europe by $2 per barrel, but it left its crude to the United States the same at +$7.25 versus ASCI for the month of September, it said.
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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