SINGAPORE: The Middle East crude market saw busy trade on Thursday, with 30 Dubai partials traded and Arcadia selling an Oman cargo to Vitol, the third physical transaction between the two traders this month.
On Thursday’s trade brings the total number of Dubai partials traded to 98 in the five sessions this month. Deals kicked off on Thursday at $112.05 a barrel and rose to $112.45, before slipping to $112.36-$112.38 at close.
Arcadia and Chinaoil were the sellers while Vitol, Gunvor and Mercuria bought. Balanced February/March spread is valued at near parity, traders said.
Qatar has raised its January retroactive official selling price (OSP) for Qatar Marine crude to $109.75 a barrel, up $1.20 from the previous month, Qatar News Agency said.
That puts Qatar Marine’s OSP at a premium of $1.81 a barrel to Dubai quotes, 40 cents lower than December. Traders were expecting a cut of as much as $1 a barrel so that Qatar Marine can compete with Oman in the spot market.
With the smaller-than-expected cut, Qatar Marine could trade at a discount to its OSP when April cargoes start trading next week. The Gulf Arab state also set the January Qatar Land crude OSP at $110.75, up $1.15 from December, the report said.
Qatar Land is at a premium of $2.81 a barrel to Dubai quotes, down 45 cents. Saudi Arabia kept oil output steady in January, an industry source said, after two months of sharp reductions that surprised oil traders and coincided with a rise in crude oil prices.