KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Saudi Aramco (IPO-ARMO.SE) has cut the August price for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers by $0.20 a barrel versus July to a discount of $0.45 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average, it said on Wednesday, in line with market expectations.
However, Aramco raised the official selling price for its heavy grade crude it sells to Asia by 10 cents to a discount of $1.75 a barrel to the average of Oman and Dubai quotes in August, close to the narrowest discount since December 2013.
The increase for the Arab Heavy crude is in line with expectations of four Asian crude buyers that told Reuters the world No.1 oil exporter may lift the official selling price (OSP) of the grade to Asia by 20 cents a barrel to $1.65 below the average of Oman and Dubai quotes in August.
The comes after refiners' profits on churning out fuel oil from heavy crude have hit record highs, with state oil giant Saudi Aramco cutting heavy crude production as part of a drive led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to rein in global output.
A hike in prices for Saudi heavy crude could buoy demand for such oil from other Middle Eastern producers, as well as supplies from Russia, Angola and the Americas.
The company raised its Arab Light OSP to Northwest Europe by $0.55 cents for August from the previous month at a discount of $2.55 a barrel to the ICE Brent.
The Arab Light OSP to the United States was unchanged at a premium of $1.10 a barrel to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI) for August.
The tables below show the full FOB prices for August in U.S. dollars.
Saudi term crude supplies to the United States are priced as a differential to the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI).
Reporting by Global Energy Desk, editing by David Evans; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org