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Med Crude-Urals extends decline in Baltic, hits new high in Med

Thursday, 08 August 2019 | 20:00

Urals crude differentials extended their decline in the Baltic on Thursday on weaker refining margins, while oil trader Litasco again pushed the grade’s values higher in the Mediterranean.

* In the Platts window, Glencore offered a cargo of Urals in the Baltic for August 21-25 at dated Brent plus 15 cents per barrel but found no buyers.

* Trafigura offered a cargo in the Baltic for Aug 18-22 at dated Brent flat, some 20 cents lower than offers on Wednesday, but also found no buyers, traders said.

* High-sulphur fuel oil cracks in Europe have fallen to minus $13 per barrel from around minus $8 per barrel at the end of July, reducing incentives for refiners to take heavier crude with a higher sulphur content such as Urals.

* Urals refining cracks have fallen to $2.77 per barrel from an average of around $5 per barrel over the past 15 days.

* Meanwhile in the Mediterranean, Litasco continued its aggressive bidding for an Aug 18-22 cargo, raising the bid by another five cents to a new record of plus $1.35 per barrel.

* Traders said they struggled to understand the logic of the bidding and could not see whether any cargo was at all available for sale during those dates.

* Litasco, which has a large refinery in Bulgaria, is a regular buyer of crude in the Med and often bids aggressively for barrels.

Source: Reuters (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov; Editing by Jane Merriman)

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