New York — The spread between benchmark cash Dubai and Dubai futures extended its climb on July 2, with sentiment remaining little changed at the start of the month.
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September cash Dubai was assessed at a premium of $1.29/b over September Dubai futures at the 4:30 pm (0830 GMT) Singapore close on July 2, edging up 9 cents/b day on day, S&P Global Platts data showed.
Similarly, September cash Oman was also assessed at $1.29/b premium over Dubai futures on July 2, higher than $1.25/b on July 1, the data showed.
This marks an increase for two consecutive trading days for both assessments.
While sentiment was mostly steady in the Middle East sour crude market, some market participants said further upticks in the backwardation in the Dubai crude structure could result in the release of more barrels from floating tankers.
Spot trading activity for September-loading cargoes however have remained muted for the month so far as market participants await official selling prices from the regions' producers.
There were broad expectations that Middle East producers will increase their respective OSPs for the third consecutive month, in line with the uptick seen in the Middle East sour crude complex in June versus May.
Meanwhile, the Platts Market on Close assessment process on July 2 saw the first partial trade of the month, with oil group Shell seen selling into Trafigura's bid for a September Dubai partial at $42.80/b after the close of the MOC.
Each partial is 25,000 barrels in size. 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.
For Dubai partials, the seller has the option to deliver a Dubai, Oman, Upper Zakum, Al-Shaheen or, with a quality premium, Murban cargo to the buyer.