Asian crude sold under short-term, or spot, contracts fell this week as refinery margins declined.
Refinery margins in Singapore averaged $2.82 a barrel during the last five days, compared with a 30-day mean of $4.89, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Premiums for Russia’s East Siberia Pacific Ocean crude, or ESPO, declined by $2 a barrel this week compared with last month.
OAO Surgutneftegas (SNGSP) sold two ESPO cargoes for April loading at about $3.50 to $4 a barrel above Dubai to two unidentified buyers, according to five traders who participate in the market. The premiums fell from about $6 a barrel for five cargoes sold in March, two traders said on Jan. 26.
Another Russian oil company, TNK-BP, sold a shipment of ESPO for early April loading at a premium of $5.40 a barrel, three traders familiar with the deal said on March 5. That was down from the $6.30 a barrel it received for March cargoes.
Dubai crude’s backwardation, when the price for delivery now is greater than that for later, was unchanged from yesterday. Swaps for April were $2.80 cents a barrel more than June, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based broker.
The April Brent-Dubai (PVMMDBSP) exchange for swaps, which measures the European benchmark’s premium against the Middle East grade, fell 40 cents to $3.35 a barrel according to PVM data. The May contract fell 24 cents to $3.90.
No Dubai partial cargoes were sold today, according to a survey of traders who monitor the Platts pricing window.
Oman crude for May fell 4 cents to $123.96 on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange at 6:14 p.m. Singapore time with 1,693 contracts traded. The contract settled at $123.82 at 12:30 p.m. Dubai time.
Kuwait Petroleum Corp. increased its official selling price for April shipments of Kuwait Export Crude (KOSPKUWA) to a premium of 70 cents a barrel above the average of Oman and Dubai oil, according to a faxed statement today. The premium was 5 cents for March.
Iraq raised April prices for Basrah (ZOSPBLAS) by 50 cents a barrel to $1.15, the state marketing agency said.
Qatar Petroleum set the retroactive price of its marine crude for February at $118.40 a barrel. Qatar Land (QOSPLAND) was set at $119.55 a barrel, according to the official Qatar News Agency.
Spot assessments for Qatar Marine (PGCPQRMR) crude for May loading rose by 10 cents a barrel to 21 cents more than its official selling price, the highest since Dec. 7, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.
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