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CRUDE MOC: Platts April cash Dubai crude closes at $49.01/b, averages $54.219/b in Feb

Highlights

Platts April cash Oman closes at $49.01/b, averages $54.507/b in Feb

Total of 205 Apr partials, 8 April cargoes traded in Feb

3 convergences: 2 Al-Shaheen, 1 Upper Zakum cargoes declared

Singapore — The S&P Global Platts cash assessment for April-loading Dubai crude oil cargoes settled at $49.01/b Friday and averaged $54.219/b over February.

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The April cash assessment for Oman crude settled at $49.01/b Friday, taking the average for February to $54.507/b.

By comparison, front-month cash Dubai averaged $64.286/b over January, while cash Oman averaged $64.696/b.

Dubai's discount to the Oman assessment averaged 28.9 cents/b in February, narrowing from 41 cents/b in January, Platts data showed.

In the Platts Market on Close assessment process for Middle East crude in Asia, 76 Dubai partials were traded Friday, the last trading day for the month.

A total of 205 partials, equivalent to 5.13 million barrels of crude oil, traded in the MOC process over February. This consisted of 202 Dubai and three April Oman partials.

Out of these, three convergences were declared on Dubai partials trades, with one convergence seeing a cargo of Upper Zakum declared to the buyer, while the remaining two saw Al-Shaheen declared as the deliverable cargo. All three cargoes were a result of partials bought by Lukoil, with Total and Reliance on the sell-side.

Meanwhile, eight full sized cargoes of 500,000 barrels each were traded from bids and offers shown in the MOC process in February. Two of these were Murban, two were Upper Zakum and four of these were April loading cargoes of Das Blend crude.

All Das Blend cargo trades originated from bids placed by Gunvor in the MOC. Gunvor also bid for and traded one cargo of Murban, while Total offered and sold the second cargo via the MOC this month.

The two Upper Zakum cargo trades were a result of offers from ExxonMobil, which were subsequently bought by Glencore and Shell.

Full sized cargoes are typically 500,000 barrels per bid, offer and trade, whereas partials are sized in clips of 25,000 barrels each. Under the partials trading mechanism, the seller declares a full 500,000-barrel cargo to the buyer after 20 partials have been traded for the same loading month between the two companies.

February saw the second highest number of cargoes traded on the MOC after June 2019, when a total of nine full sized cargoes changed hands via the process. Of those, six were Murban, two were Upper Zakum and one was a cargo of Das Blend.

The April spread between Dubai cash and futures -- also known as the M1/M3 structure -- averaged minus 2 cents/b over February, after the structure flipped midway through the month from backwardation into contango given poor demand in Asia. The structure had averaged $2.11/b in January.