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Crude MOC: Cash Dubai falls amid demand uncertainty

New York — Benchmark cash Dubai slipped at the Asia market close on March 2, amid rising uncertainty for May-loading barrels.

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S&P Global Platts assessed May cash Dubai at a premium of $1.085/b to the same-month Dubai futures at the close on March 2, down by 22.5 cents/b from the close on March 1.

May cash Oman was valued at a premium of $1.09/b to front-month Dubai futures, down by 23 cents/b from the close on March 1.

The Middle East crude oil market awaits fresh demand cues as concerns amid subdued Asian demand and increased oil supplies post the OPEC+ meeting weigh on sentiment.

Meanwhile, term allocations by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. were issued to Asian buyers for April, with a 5% cut across grades.

The cuts are unlikely to compel buyers to buy up cargoes on the spot market, some market participants said.

"Japan's spot demand shall decrease slightly. Last month, spot buying was high due to larger ADNOC and Saudi [term supply] cuts," said a trader with one North Asian refinery.

Increased oil supplies on the back of high oil prices and curbed Asian buying appetite specifically from China threaten to curb trade activity in the month ahead, traders said.

"It is still the beginning of the month and nothing has traded yet. We are still observing the outcome of OPEC+ meeting," said the trader with the North Asian refinery.

The Platts Market on Close assessment process on March 2 saw twenty-two 25,000 barrel Dubai partials and three Oman partials traded.

The Dubai partials were traded with Total, Unipec, Reliance and Hengli on the sell side, and PetroChina, Lukoil and Koch on the buy side.

All three Oman partials were traded between Unipec and PetroChina.