SINGAPORE: The Middle East crude benchmarks eased on Wednesday, while Basra Light’s premium fell from an all-time high in signs that the bullish sentiment seen so far this month could be receding.
QATAR: Qatar Petroleum has sold three more cargoes of al-Shaheen crude via tender at 85-90 cents/bbl above Dubai quotes, similar premiums from last week’s deals, traders said.
ExxonMobil and Chevron will lift a 600,000-bbl cargo each on June 15-16 and June 23-24, respectively, while Petronas bought the 500,000-bbl cargo loading on June 21-22, they said.
Last week, Qatar Petroleum sold two al-Shaheen crude cargoes to load in June via private negotiation for the first time.
Separately, traders said Shell has bought several cargoes of Qatar Marine and Upper Zakum this month, which has supported premiums for these grades.
IRAQ: Spot premiums for May-loading Basra Light crude have likely fallen to below 50 cents/bbl to its OSP, down more than half from an all-time high in recent trades, traders said.
This was because there were only a couple of Asian buyers who were able to pay premiums of more than $1/bbl, one of them said.
Another trader said there was sufficient supply as SOMO has reinstated the 8 million barrels that it had cut in exports for April due to maintenance at the Basra Oil Terminal.
RUSSIA: Russian Sokol crude oil premiums hit a more than 2-year high this week after at least two June-loading cargoes were sold at $5.70-$5.80/bbl above Dubai quotes on the back of robust demand in Asia, trade sources said.
The cargoes were sold by ExxonMobil and SODECO, they said, although buyers were not immediately known.
Spot premiums are 50-60 cents/bbl higher than the previous month.
Asia’s demand for crude that has high yields of middle distillates has strengthened on improved margins for diesel and jet fuel and as consumption of these products is expected to rise during the upcoming summer, traders said.
CONDENSATE: China’s Fuhaichuang, formerly known as Dragon Aromatics, has bought two cargoes of condensate to be delivered in June as it prepares to restart its petrochemical complex in the eastern province of Fujian, three trade sources said.
The company bought 650,000 barrels of Australian Pluto condensate from an oil major and about 600,000 barrels of Equatorial Guinea’s Alba condensate from Glencore, they said.