Top crude oil exporter Saudi Arabia will supply full contracted volumes of crude to at least four Asian term buyers in September, unchanged from August, industry sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday.
The move had been expected, as the OPEC kingpin has supplied full contractual volumes to most Asian buyers since late 2009.
“There was no cut, and (the Saudis) did not make any changes on the volumes for each grade,” one source said.
Saudi Arabia had cut in September the official selling prices (OSPs) for three of the five grades of crude it supplies to Asia, but this is unlikely to entice refiners to buy more oil, the sources said.
“We will just take full contracted volume,” a crude trader at a major refiner in South Korea said. “Cuts in the latest OSPs won't lead us to buy more as we purchase crude under our refining targets, not by OSP changes.”
Yet refiners may be encouraged to process more crude as refining margins are improving, the sources said.
Refiners can use an operational tolerance clause in contracts to load up to 10 percent more oil, depending on the loading program and the availability of tankers, traders said.
They are likely to decide whether they will lift more crude closer to September.
Saudi Arabia kept crude output in July at 10 million barrels per day, near the highest rate in decades, although it trimmed supply slightly because of lower demand from some customers, such as those in the United States, a Reuters survey showed.