Dubai sour crude futures tick up as September barrels clear

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Singapore —
Benchmark Dubai crude futures rose Wednesday morning in Asia with September-loading barrels largely concluded for the cycle, according to crude traders based in the region.

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At 11 am in Singapore (0300 GMT), September Dubai futures moved up to $61.56/b, up from $60.81/b assessed at 4:30 pm (0830 GMT) at the close of trading in Asia on Tuesday.

Crude traders said September-loading cargoes were largely cleared for the month after a flurry of end-of-month deals overnight. Middle East sour crude barrels typically clear quickly via spot market deals in the second and third weeks of each monthly cycle.

“Heard a lot moved [Tuesday],” a Singapore-based trader said Wednesday morning.

“Upper Zakum almost all gone for the month, maybe a couple of cargoes here and there,” a second crude trader told S&P Global Platts.

A recent 500,000-barrel cargo of Upper Zakum crude was also reported to have been purchased by Taiwan’s CPC Corp. at a discount of 25 cents/b to its OSP. CPC had bought the cargo via its monthly purchase tender. However, the company reduced its volume for September buying down to one cargo, as opposed to a typical three to four clips purchased monthly, traders said.

They added that this was likely due to planned maintenance at CPC’s refinery in Taiwan for the month.

Meanwhile, the prompt intermonth spread was a tad firmer in Wednesday morning trade, with August/September Dubai futures pegged at 53 cents/b at 11 am in Singapore, compared with 49 cents/b at Tuesday’s Asian close.

However, September/October Dubai futures were steady at 71 cents/b Wednesday morning, same as the level assessed at the close of trading on Tuesday.

The September EFS spread between Brent and Dubai futures narrowed a little, standing at $2.46/b Wednesday morning. It was assessed at $2.48/b on Tuesday.

–Eesha Muneeb, eesha.muneeb@spglobal.com

–Edited by Geetha Narayanasamy, geetha.narayanasamy@spglobal.com