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Saudi Spot Diesel Exports

Source: reuters 7/3/2006, Location: Middle East

Saudi Arabia may continue to skip spot diesel flows to Asia until year-end as most of its exports are committed to long-term contract customers, traders said. Saudi state owned company Saudi Aramco, which last sold 120,000 tonnes of spot diesel for April loading, used to export one or two spot cargoes of diesel each month.

"Certainly in the Gulf and Saudi Arabia, demand for transport fuel is picking up," said Mohamed Ramady, a visiting finance and economics professor at King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals in Saudi Arabia. The country cut domestic transport fuel prices by as much as a third from the beginning of May.

"This really gave a boost to the private sector, and we are seeing a lot of demand recently," Ramady said. As well as rising demand to counter the summer heat and feed the region's economic growth, moves by governments to diversify their economies away from reliance on oil production have further fueled local consumption. "Middle Eastern countries are trying to leverage their oil reserves and energy reserves," Merath said. "They are trying to attract energy-intensive industries like fertilizer and aluminum industries."

The Saudi government in April approved the construction of an aluminum smelter, two months after the UAE unveiled plans for a $6 billion smelter complex.



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