SINGAPORESaudi Aramco on Oct. 6 kept the November official selling price (OSP) for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers unchanged from October, against expectations of a small price hike.

The move took traders by surprise as the world’s top exporter had been expected to track gains in Middle East price benchmarks last month.

Traders have been bracing for possibly larger price hikes following the Oct. 5 agreement by OPEC+ oil producerswhich include members of OPEC and allies, including Russiato slash output by 2 MMbbl/d.

One refining source said the producer may have kept prices unchanged because refining margins in Asia have dropped. Other sources said Saudi Aramco may be keeping supplies to Asia steady to maintain its market share in the region.

The November OSP for Arab Light to Asia was set at a premium of $5.85/bbl to the Oman/Dubai average. The producer also kept the November OSP for Super Light crude unchanged while trimming the price for Arab Extra Light crude by 10 cents. It raised prices for Arab Medium and Arab Heavy crude in November by 25 cents from the previous month.

Saudi Arabia lowered its Arab Light OSP to northwest Europe to $0.90/bbl against ICE Brent for November, while raising it to the United States to $6.35 versus ASCI.

Saudi Energy Minister Abdulaziz bin Salman said on Oct. 6 the real supply cut stemming from the OPEC+ agreement would amount to about 1 million to 1.1 million bbl/d in a response to rising global interest rates and a weakening world economy.