The Middle East crude benchmarks recovered slightly on Friday, but were still much lower than the start of the month as ample supplies and lower demand in Asia weighed on spot prices. DME Oman’s premium to Dubai swaps was at 22 cents on Friday, up from a 6-cent low seen earlier this week, but still lower than the 30-60 cents traded in the first week of March.
Cash Dubai’s discount to swaps narrowed 12 cents from the previous session after BP bought a May partial from Reliance at $50.15 a barrel on Platts window, a trader said.
In tenders, Taiwanese refiner Formosa Petrochemical bought two Middle East crude cargoes for May loading, including Banoco Arab Medium at the widest discount in months, traders said. Formosa bought the Banoco Arab Medium at a discount wider than 30 cents to its official selling price (OSP) and it also purchased an Oman crude cargo at a premium of 10-13 cents above Dubai quotes.
The sellers were not immediately known. Thai refiner IRPC bought a cargo of Murban that will load in May but the price and the seller were not available. More details emerged for ExxonMobil’s Sokol tender.
The oil major sold two of three May-loading cargoes it offered at $1.85-$.195 a barrel above Dubai quotes, down from premiums of slightly over $3 in the previous month. Shell may have bought one cargo, a trader said. Russian oil producer Surgutneftegaz has sold three cargoes of ESPO crude loading in May at the lowest premiums since 2015, traders said.
The cargoes were sold at $1.60-$1.80 a barrel above Dubai quotes, they said. The premiums are the lowest since prices recorded in September 2015 for oil loading in July that year, according to data on Thomson Reuters Eikon.
*TENDERS COUNTRY/COMPANY GRADE VOL CLOSE (VALID) LOADING DATE RUSSIA/ROSNEFT s:ESPO 2*740KB March 15 (March 20) May 9-15, 22-27 BAHRAIN/BAPCO s:Banoco AM 500KB Mar 14 (Mar 16) May loading QATAR/QATAR s:DFC/LSC NA Mar 14 (Mar 15) May loading PETROLEUM TENDERS AWARD COUNTRY/COMPANY GRADE VOL COUNTERPARTY/PRICE LOADING DATE *RUSSIA/SURGUT s:ESPO 3*740KB Dubai +$1.6-$1.8 April 30-May 5, May 3-8,5-10 *THAILAND/IRPC b:Murban 500KB May *TAIWAN/FORMOSA b:Banoco AM 500KB OSP below -30 c/b May b:Oman 500KB Dubai +10-13 c/b May *RUSSIA/EXXON s:Sokol 2*740KB Dubai +$1.85-$1.95 May *PRICES ($/BBL) CURRENT PREV SESSION DME OMAN 50.63 51.14 DME OMAN DIFF TO DUBAI 0.22 0.11 CASH DUBAI 50.15 50.65
Australian investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd agreed to buy Cargill Inc’s petroleum business, the commodities trader said on Thursday, the latest reshuffling of its business following an almost three-year slump in oil prices.
Oil exports from Iraq’s southern terminals have edged lower so far in March, according to loading data and an industry source, although not as much as expected, potentially raising questions over the country’s compliance with OPEC production cuts. Halfway into an OPEC-led oil supply cut, Asia remains awash with fuel in a sign that the group’s efforts to rein in a global glut have so far had little effect.
Thomson Reuters Oil Research and Forecasts data shows around 714 million barrels of oil are being shipped to Asia this month, up 3 percent since December when the cuts were announced. Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA has offered Russian counterpart Rosneft a stake in a joint venture in the country’s Orinoco Belt extra-heavy crude area, five industry sources said, in a sign of the Latin American nation’s dire economic situation and Moscow’s growing muscle there.
For crude prices, oil product cracks and refining margins, please click on the RICs below. Brent Dubai DME Oman Brent/Dubai EFS PRODUCT CRACKS Fuel oil crack Gasoil crack Naphtha crack Complex refining margins
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)