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Crude MOC: Sour complex rangebound; spot market sees minimal activity

Benchmark cash Dubai premium against Dubai futures was rangebound at the Asian close May 24, as spot activity in the Middle East crude market for July-loading crude inches towards completion.

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S&P Global Platts assessed July cash Dubai at a premium of $1.36/b to the same-month Dubai futures at the 4.30 pm Singapore close on May 24, up 4 cents/b from the Asian close on May 21.

July cash Oman was pegged at a premium of $1.40/b to same-month Dubai futures, up 3 cents/b from the previous day's close.

Demand from Japan remained the focus in the week ended May 22, as an upcoming buoyant domestic driving season continues to stoke need for more crude imports, sources said.

Initial talks indicate that Japan's Fuji Oil bought, via a fresh tender, a 500,000-barrel cargo of July-loading Murban crude at a premium of around $2/b respectively to Platts front-month Dubai crude assessments. However, the information could not be confirmed.

Lighter crudes are likely to be the preferred grades for Japanese buyers in the last few days of the current cycle leading to trades at strong premiums, said a crude oil trader in Singapore.

The MOC process saw 29 July Dubai partials of 25,000-barrels traded.

The Dubai partials were traded with Unipec, Shell, Reliance, Hengli and PetroChina on the sell-side and Total and Glencore on the buy-side.

Unipec declared a cargo of Upper Zakum crude to Total following the convergence of 20 partials in Platts cash Dubai. This was the 11th cargo convergence declared in May 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.