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Middle East Crude-Das premium up on Shell’s bid

Middle East Crude-Das premium up on Shell's bidSINGAPORE: DME Oman’s discount to Dubai widened in the Middle East crude market on Wednesday as trade for May-loading cargoes slowed, while traders eyed the results of a tender issued by a Taiwanese buyer for price direction.

CPC Corp closed on Wednesday its monthly tender to buy sour grades for May arrival. The Taiwanese refiner became a big buyer of spot grades this year after it reduced term liftings ahead of an impending closure of one of its refineries.

Spot premium for Das strengthened following a bid from Shell on the window at 55 cents a barrel to its OSP. The grade was last traded at a premium of 40 cents.

Traders are also waiting for more Russian ESPO sell tenders. Last week, Surgutneftegaz sold two cargoes via tender at the lowest premiums since February, traders said, likely due to the prompt timing of the cargoes.

Statoil bought a cargo for April 30-May 5 loading at $ 1.90 a barrel above Dubai quotes and Shell bought a May 4-9 cargo at a premium of $ 2.50, they said. The deals could not be independently verified.

Tasweeq is due to award later on Wednesday its monthly tender to sell condensate for May-loading. Prior to the tender, deodorised field condensate (DFC) was sold at about $ 2 a barrel above Dubai quotes, steady from the previous month, a trader said.

DME OMAN

DME Oman for May settled at $ 51.37 a barrel, down 47 cents, at 0830 GMT. This puts DME Oman at 74 cents a barrel below Dubai swaps, against a discount of 50 cents in the previous session.

MARKET NEWS

Chinese state refiners could process less crude oil in the second quarter, as domestic demand is dented by tax hikes and a slowing economy, potentially curbing the import needs of the world’s second biggest oil consumer.

Sinopec had aimed to raise its crude runs by 5 percent between April and June, from about 59 million tonnes or 4.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first quarter, but that is now unlikely, according to two refinery sources. A plan to process about 20 million tonnes in March also looks difficult to achieve, one of the sources said.

Libya’s internationally recognised government said on Tuesday that any sales of the country’s oil should be arranged through a state firm based in Benghazi under its leadership to prevent fraud.

Mexico’s state-owned oil company Pemex could double crude exports to South Korea to 10 million barrels by the end of the year, the head of the company’s trading arm said in an interview.

Japan’s benchmark crude oil price fell to a near six-year low in February as imports dropped 11.6 percent from the same month a year earlier, according to data released by the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday.

Copyright Reuters, 2015

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