Benchmark cash Dubai rallied at the Asia close Feb. 25, with attention shifting to Asian buying intent as trade for May-loading barrels approaches.
S&P Global Platts assessed April cash Dubai at a premium of 55 cents/b to the same-month Dubai futures, up 22 cents/b from close on Feb. 24.
Similarly, April cash Oman was assessed at a premium of 55 cents/b to front month Dubai futures, up 21 cents/b from close on Feb. 24.
Expectations of resurgent Asian buying for May-loading cargoes could help support the market in the next cycle, traders said.
“This month, because of long holidays and high stocks, [China] did not buy as much. Next month, Chinese demand should be better,” said a trader in Singapore.
A wider Brent/Dubai spread could also support demand for sour crudes in Asia and help maintain competitiveness of Dubai-linked grades against arbitrage barrels from the West.
Meanwhile, market participants also eye the outcome of the OPEC+ meet and subsequent issuance of official selling prices by Middle East producers next month.
Unipec declared an April-loading cargo of Al-Shaheen crude to Petrochina following the convergence of 20 partials of cash Dubai. This was the first convergence declared in February so far.
A convergence occurs when 20 partials are traded between two counterparties, resulting in a full, 500,000-barrel physical cargo being declared from the seller to the buyer.
The Platts Market on Close assessment process on Feb. 25 saw nine 25,000-barrel Dubai partials and three Oman partials traded.
The Dubai partials were traded with Total, Unipec, Shell and Reliance on the sell side and Petrochina on the buy side while the Oman partials were traded between Unipec and Petrochina.