Med Crude-Urals firm on Asian bid, Libyan export to dip

Russian Urals differentials were supported in the Mediterranean on Monday by a bid from an Asian trader. But the gain in prices was limited as the west-to-east arbitrage export window failed to open, traders said.  Libyan crude oil exports are set to fall marginally in May from April. Trading in the sweet market was relatively thin ahead of the release of Libyan official selling prices (OSPs). Traders also focused on Indian tenders to import light sweet crude. 


In the Mediterranean, Japanese trader Itochu bid for 80,000 tonnes for May 7-11 loading at dated Brent minus $2.70 a barrel, but there was no offer. 
Itochu could not be reached. The intention of the cargo was not clear. 
"There has been a talk that the arbitrage for Urals is nearly open. But Oman collapsed in Asia today, and the cargo is
80,000 tonnes, so it does not make sense to ship it to Asia," a trader said. "So it could be to cover local (European) demand." 
In Northwest Europe, Lukoil offered 100,000 tonnes for May 2-6 at dated Brent minus $3.40 a barrel, without finding a buyer. 

Libyan crude oil exports are expected to amount to 40 million barrels in May, or 1.29 million barrels per day (bpd), a
senior official at Libya's state-owned National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Monday. 
Libyan official selling prices (OSPs) are expected to be released later this week. 
CPC Blend came under pressure. Traders assessed its price level around dated Brent minus $1.30 a barrel, about 5-10 cents lower than late last week. 
Traders said some Libyan and Azeri crude has been offered into import tenders issued by Indian oil companies, competing with Nigerian barrels, which these companies normally buy. 
Indian Oil Corp (IOC), Hindustan Petroleum Corp (HPCL) and Bharat Petroleum Corp are seeking to buy light sweet
crude for June loading. These tenders will be awarded later this week.

(Source: Reuters)

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