Middle East Crude-Benchmarks weaken as Asian demand muted

Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai weakened on Thursday


SINGAPORE- Middle East crude benchmarks Oman and Dubai weakened on Thursday, as buying interest from Asian refiners for December-loading cargoes remained muted.

Strong demand from Rongsheng Petrochemical, the trading arm of one of the biggest private refiners in China, briefly buoyed prices on Wednesday.

Despite its sizeable purchases estimated between 8 million and 10 million barrels, most of the crude will be supplied from oil in storage rather than fresh supplies loading in December, traders said.

Rongsheng bought several grades including al-Shaheen, Upper Zakum, Oman and probably North Sea Forties for delivery in December and January next year, they said.

Vitol may have sold 2 million barrels of Forties to Rongsheng, one of the traders said.

December-loading Qatar Marine may have already traded at discounts of 80 cents-90 cents a barrel to Dubai quotes, another trader said.

Traders are looking ahead to results of tenders for Qatar Petroleum's al-Shaheen and Iraq's Basra Light to gauge prices for this month.

Light sour grades such as Murban are likely to trade in premiums against its official selling price as ADNOC reduced its latest OSPs slightly more than expected, a third trader said, although current offers at 30-40 cents a barrel were deemed high.


China's Fuhaichuang did not award a tender to buy condensate because of poor paraxylene margins and as the petrochemical producer was considering shutting its plant for maintenance, traders said.


Occidental Petroleum Corp expects global oil supply and demand to rebalance by the end of 2021, its chief executive told the Energy Intelligence Forum on Wednesday.

Mexican state oil company Pemex expects to steadily increase liquids production, mostly crude oil, over the next few years to reach 2.296 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2024, its chief executive said on Wednesday. 

(Reporting by Florence Tan, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips) ((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com; +65 6870 3497; Reuters Messaging: florence.tan.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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