Urals CIF Rotterdam was assessed Thursday at a record high of Dated Brent plus $0.695/barrel, Platts data showed, on tight supply and strong buying interest in Northwest Europe.
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Urals CIF Rotterdam rose from Dated Brent plus $0.52/b the previous day.
The previous record high had been Dated Brent plus $0.56/b on July 15. Prior to 2013, Urals CIF Rotterdam had breached the Dated Brent plus $0.50/b mark only once, in August 2012.
Traders attributed the strength to continued demand at a time of very tight crude supply in Europe, following several smaller-than-usual Urals programs and outages at Iraq's Kirkuk and several Libyan grades.
"There are not many cargoes available now," one refiner said Friday. "I would be surprised now to see anyone willing to sell at below Dated Brent plus $0.70/b. However, we wouldn't pay these numbers any more, and I'm not sure how many around would do."
In the Platts Market on Close assessment process Thursday, Petraco bid for a cargo loading August 23-27. After increasing the bid to Dated Brent plus $0.70/b, Petraco were hit with a cargo by Glencore.
Urals in NWE however has lagged behind the much stronger Mediterranean market.
Urals CIF Augusta was assessed Thursday at Dated Brent plus $1.00/b, close to but still below its all-time record high of Dated Brent plus $1.03/b, achieved on July 7 2013.