By John Lee.
Iraq has reportedly surprised traders in Asia with a sharp increase in the price of its new Basrah Heavy crude grade.
Despite the grade selling at a sharp discount in the spot market last month, the State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) raised the Official Selling Price (OSP) for Basrah Heavy by 85 cents per barrel to a discount of $5.65/barrel relative to Platts average Oman/Dubai assessments for cargoes loading in July and heading to Asia.
Saudi Arabia has also raised the OSP for its Arab Heavy crude, and according to one trader "unfortunately SOMO follows Saudi closely."
India is an important buyer of the new grade.
(Oil price image via Shutterstock)