Middle East Crude-Benchmarks inch up; Vietnamese grades stay firm

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai edged up on Wednesday

  

SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai edged up on Wednesday, while the market awaited fresh cues following Qatar Petroleum (QP)'s monthly tender.

QP offered three June-loading al-Shaheen cargoes, as well as one cargo each of Qatar Land and Qatar Marine via a tender closing on Wednesday with bids valid until Thursday.

One al-Shaheen crude cargo changed hands at around $1.3 a barrel above Dubai quotes in a private trade prior to the QP tender, one trader said. The deal could not be independently verified by Reuters.

Iraq's SOMO offered 1 million barrels of Basra Medium crude, loading May 29-31, via a tender to be closed on April 17.

ASIA-PACIFIC CRUDE:

ConocoPhillips offered one 600,000-barrel Kimanis crude cargo, loading June 3-7, via a tender closing Thursday afternoon.

Vietnam's PV Oil sold 400,000 barrels of Dai Hung crude, loading June 16-22, to domestic Binh Son refinery at a premium of around $1.7 a barrel to dated Brent, traders said.

PV Oil also sold 300,000 barrels of Chim Sao crude, loading June 26-30, at a premium of around $2.6 a barrel to dated Brent, likely to Ampol, traders said.

Last month, May-loading Dai Hung crude was traded at a premium of $2.5 to dated Brent, while Chim Sao was traded slightly higher via PV Oil's monthly tenders, traders said at that time. The buyer for both was Binh Son refinery.

CHINA DELIVERED MARKET:

Chinese teapot Shandong Shida bought one Hungo crude cargo from BP's storage tank, traders said. The refiner also bought one Johan Sverdrup cargo from Zhenhua, one of the traders said.

Otherwise, physical trading remains largely muted for delivery into the Chinese teapot market, largely due to the inflows of cheap Iranian barrels, traders said.

China received a daily average of 557,000 barrels of Iranian crude between November and March, or roughly 5% of total imports by the world's biggest importer, according to Refinitiv Oil Research, returning to levels before former U.S. President Donald Trump re-imposed sanctions on Iran in 2019. 

NEWS

Vaccine rollouts are brightening the outlook for global oil demand, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday, though rising cases in some major oil-consuming countries show a recovery may be fragile. 

OPEC on Tuesday raised its forecast for growth in world oil demand this year on expectations the pandemic will subside, providing help for the group and its allies in their efforts to support the market. 

Imports of crude oil into Canada dropped 20% year-on-year in 2020 due to weak demand as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Canada Energy Regulator said in an analysis released Wednesday. 

Crude oil and distillate stocks fell in the most recent week, while gasoline inventories rose, according to two market sources, citing American Petroleum Institute figures. 

(Reporting By Shu Zhang) ((shu.zhang@thomsonreuters.com; +65-6870-3549; Reuters Messaging: Twitter @shuzhang4))

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