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Middle East Crude-Demand firm as refining margins support

Middle East Crude-Demand firm as refining margins supportSINGAPORE: The Middle East crude market held firm on Tuesday as more May-loading cargoes traded at premiums with good refining margins supporting demand.

Bahrain’s BAPCO closed a second tender to sell 500,000 barrels of Banoco Arab Medium for May loading. It awarded the first tender to Petro-Diamond at 12-13 cents a barrel above its OSP (official selling price), traders said.

Separately, PTT has bought one Banoco AM cargo each from Shell and Unipec at a premium of 15 cents, a trader said. The deals could not be independently verified.

Inpex has sold May-loading Das crude at about 40 cents a barrel above its OSP to an unknown buyer, traders said.

Still, an oversupply of crude has enabled Taiwan’s Formosa to purchase cargoes months ahead at low prices.

The refiner has bought 12 million barrels of Iraqi Basra Light crude and its first Colombia Vasconia crude via tenders, trade sources said.

Shell will deliver the Basra Light cargoes in six shipments between May and December, they said, at about 30 cents a barrel below the grade’s OSP on a delivered basis.

Formosa also bought its first Vasconia crude cargo from European trader Gunvor at about $ 1.50 a barrel below Dubai quotes on a cost and freight (C&F) basis, the sources said. The 700,000-barrel cargo will be delivered to Formosa in May.

TENDER

Taiwan’s CPC has issued its monthly tender to buy sour crude for May loading. The tender closes on March 18 with bids valid until a day later.

Sri Lanka’s Ceypetco has bought its first Das crude cargo from BP via a tender at about $ 2 a barrel above its OSP on a C&F basis for May 23-24 arrival.

More details about Tasweeq’s al-Shaheen tender emerged. Discounts for the two cargoes were $ 1.11 and $ 1.81 a barrel to Dubai quotes and Reliance and Petronas bought one cargo each, traders said.

Before the tender, Reliance bought two al-Shaheen cargoes from Unipec at discounts of $ 1.50-$ 1.90 a barrel, they said. The deals could not be verified.

DME OMAN

DME Oman for May settled at $ 51.84 a barrel, down 60 cents, at 0830 GMT. This puts DME Oman at 50 cents a barrel below Dubai swaps, against a discount of 52 cents in the previous session.

MARKET NEWS

OPEC members’ own versions of their oil output were for years greeted with such scepticism that the group resorted to publishing what others thought they were producing.

Trading house Trafigura is set to become the largest exporter of oil from Russian state-owned energy major Rosneft under a deal it is negotiating with the sanctions-hit company, industry sources told Reuters.

A possible deal over Iran’s nuclear programme that would phase out economic sanctions against Tehran is unlikely to flood world markets with more oil any time soon, despite Iran’s declared intention to claw back market share lost because of the curbs.

Glencore’s oil trading division is undergoing a rare reshuffle after 20-year veteran executive Louis Alvarez retired, while the former head of BP’s Asian trading arm has been hired to head the firm’s Singapore-based operations.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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