Poor demand tips Oman crude into discount

SINGAPORE Key Middle East Oman crude sank into discount territory yesterday, hit by buyer apathy and the wealth of supplies in the region.


Published: Fri 28 Feb 2003, 4:43 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 8:24 PM

Other grades also slipped as expectations of more term supplies from the Middle East hit sentiment.

"Oman had a small rally earlier in the day, but there just wasn't enough buying support for the grade," one said.

However, the fall drew out bargain hunters as a South Korean refiner picked up an April parcel from a European trader at MOG minus five cents.

The last time Oman prices tipped into discounts was late last year, when deals for January parcels were seen below benchmark quotes.

Abu Dhabi's Murban was also weaker, with premiums pegged at Adnoc plus five to 10 cents. Murban was fixed earlier this week at 10 cents and late last week at 18 cents.

At least one buyer thought the lower premiums represented good value, and picked up an April parcel at Adnoc plus 10 cents earlier.

Abu Dhabi's other grades such as Umm Shaif and Lower Zakum were almost sold out for April.

One million barrels of Umm Shaif was recently sold to a Japanese refiner at Adnoc plus three to six cents.

Qatar's April programme was also near the end of its cycle, with the remainder of Qatar Land and Marine pegged at deep discounts of more than 10 cents to their benchmark.

Earlier this week, 500,000 barrels of Marine was sold at OSP minus 15 cents, while a similar volume of Land was taken by Chinese buyers at OSP minus 10 cents.

On the paper market, April Brent/Dubai EFS was quoted 54 cents wider from Wednesday at $3.90/$4.00 a barrel after sharp gains in Brent.

In the regional crudes market, Vietnam's Petechim has sold a total of 1.8 million barrels of April Rang Dong at a strong premium of close to $1.00 a barrel over Minas quotes. Its last Rang Dong sale for March barrels was completed at minus 60 cents to $1.00.

Indonesia's Duri premiums improved on demand from North Asia, especially Taiwan.

Taiwan's CPC was negotiating to buy as much as 300,000 barrels a month of the heavy sweet grade for the six-month period to September.

Traders said Duri was pegged at ICP plus 60-70 cents, or about 10 to 20 cents higher from earlier this week.

Australia's Cossack was pegged at 50 to 60 cents over Tapis, although offers were heard higher at 70 cents.

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