Crude/Condensate: Apr 26-30: Jun Sokol softens in line with falling Murban
Market players expected Saudi Arabia's state-owned Saudi Aramco to inform its term buyers in Asia early next month that it would keep the June-loading Arab Light (AL) OSP for Asia stable or would reduce the OSP slightly. The forecasts came as backwardation in the benchmark Dubai papers were largely steady. In addition, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC, or OPEC plus, would ease joint production cuts gradually from May to July. Saudi Arabia's voluntarily production cuts would also ease gradually. Under the circumstances, market players believed that Saudi Arabia would set the OSP competitive to preserve its market shares.
Spot differentials for June-loading Sakhalin Sokol softened. The market for rival Middle Eastern light grades weakened, putting a downward pressure on Sokol values. In the trade of June-loading Sokol, a total of nine cargoes were already committed. Of these, four cargoes were bound for US. South Korea's GS Caltex purchased three cargoes while an end-user in Japan bought one cargo. Furthermore, US ExxonMobil brought one cargo to its own refining system.
In the trade of Vietnamese grades, state-run PV Oil concluded its term sell tender for July to December-loading Su Tu Den closed on Apr 16. The buyer was Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical (BSR) and the price was said to be at a premium of around $1.60 to DTD Brent. BSR had secured January to June-loading Su Tu Den at a premium of mid-$1s to DTD Brent, so that BSR had term contracts for Su Tu Den for two consecutive terms.