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CRUDE MOC: Middle East sour complex strengthens on first day of Dec-loading cycle

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CRUDE MOC: Middle East sour complex strengthens on first day of Dec-loading cycle

The Middle East sour crude complex showed signs of strengthening going into the fresh trading cycle on Oct. 1, amid strengthening product cracks.

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Benchmark cash Dubai crude's premium to Dubai futures was assessed at $1.95/b to same-month Dubai futures at the 4:30 pm (0830 GMT) Singapore market close on Oct. 1, the first day of the new trading cycle.

The spread, a key indicator of spot market sentiment for sour crude in Asia, widened from the $1.42/b average premium for the whole of September, Platts data showed.

December cash Oman was assessed at a premium of $2/b to same-month Dubai futures at the 4:30 pm Singapore close, also up from the $1.53/b average premium for September, the data showed.

However, market participants remained cautious on the outcome of the upcoming OPEC+ meeting on Oct. 4, which could see a hike in production quotas above the currently agreed 400,000 b/d, increasing supplies in the market.

Market participants said they generally still expect the producer alliance to stick to its current production plan, with the region's key oil producers set to issue cuts to their official selling prices.

The Platts Market on Close assessment process Oct. 1 saw one trade for December Dubai partials, with Total on the buy side and Reliance on the sell side.

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.