By ERIC YEP
Saudi Arabia's state-run Saudi Aramco has secured diesel imports for 2013, thus boosting Asian product premiums.
The country used to be a key exporter of oil products but is increasingly importing more oil products due to strong domestic demand.
Saudi Aramco Product Trading Co., the trading arm of Saudi Aramco, has bought diesel under term contracts for 2013 from multiple suppliers including BP, Shell, and Phillips 66, Singapore-based traders say.
Aramco Trading bought 500-ppm sulfur diesel on term contracts at a premium of around $3.90/bbl above Middle East quotes for delivery at Jeddah port, $4.50/bbl premium for delivery at Jizan port, and $2.90/bbl premium for delivery at Ras Tanura port, all on CFR basis, the traders said.
Demand from the country is expected to support the Asian distillates market in the short-term.
"The Middle East has become one of the fastest growing regions in terms of oil demand," analysts at Barclays said in a note last month.
"[W]e expect Saudi Arabian oil demand growth from both transportation and power generation to remain strong in 2013 and 2014," it said.
Dow Jones Newswires