Dec. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Mercuria Energy Trading SA bought three additional Dubai partial cargoes for February loading from South Korea’s SK Energy, according to a survey of traders who monitor the Platts pricing window.
Mercuria bought the three 25,000-barrel cargoes today at a price of $106.60 a barrel. That compares to $106.30 and $106.21 that the Geneva-based energy trader paid yesterday for three cargoes.
In the Asia-Pacific region, TNK-BP sold three 100,000 metric ton cargoes of ESPO crude for February loading, according to two traders with direct knowledge of the deal. Royal Dutch Shell bought one shipment for Feb. 6-10 loading, while China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp. bought another for Feb. 18-23 loading, with both selling for about $6 to $6.50 more than Dubai prices, the traders said. TNK-BP privately negotiated a third ESPO deal to an undisclosed buyer for Feb. 1- 6 lifting from the Russian Far East port of Kozmino.
Crude futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled yesterday at $101.34 a barrel, the highest close since Nov. 16. Oil traded higher after Iran threatened to block crude supplies through the Strait of Hormuz. About 15.5 million barrels of oil a day, or a sixth of global consumption, pass through the Persian Gulf transit point, according to U.S. Energy Department.
The price of Dubai crude, the benchmark grade for Middle East oil, rose 61 cents today to $107.04 a barrel, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.
Dubai swaps for January compared with March widened 2 cents to $1.09 a barrel, according to data from PVM, a brokerage. This market situation, known as backwardation, suggests that the need for prompt shipments is greater than that for later-dated supplies. The difference was at $3.01 on Nov. 11. A decline in the level shows that demand for oil has weakened.
The February Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps, which measures the European benchmark contract against the Persian Gulf grade, rose by 6 cents to $3.85 a barrel, according to PVM data. The exchange for swaps for March rose 9 cents to $3.49.
Oman futures for February delivery fell $1.68 to $107.45 a barrel on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange at 6:31 p.m. Singapore time with 1,728 contracts traded.
--Editor: Mike Anderson
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