MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. Spot prices of Russia’s Urals oil blend started going down after Saudi Arabia had lowered oil prices for European buyers.
The Urals price in the Mediterranean (CIF August) reached $45.9 a barrel on August 5 but dropped to $44,1 per barrel by the end of the week, S&P Global Platts told TASS. The premium against the Brent benchmark also dropped from $0.6 per barrel to $0.2 per barrel. The Urals price in Northwestern Europe (CIF Rotterdam) was above $45 a barrel on August 5 and declined later on. The Russian export oil blend is traded with the discount against Brent in this region as early as from the end of July.
"We have observed another week, during which spot Urals differentials have weakened versus Forward Dated Brent, despite demand for the grade improving at lower prices. European refineries seeking sour crudes have found value in Urals again with early August-loading cargoes appearing to find buyers relatively quickly," Iain Stevenson, EMEA Crude Oil Pricing, S&P Global Platts, says in a comment.
"However, the bearish pressure was refreshed as Saudi Aramco dropped its September official selling prices for term crude supplies to Northwest Europe and the Mediterranean by more than $2/barrel for most grades on August 6. Competitive pricing from the Middle East combined with more concentrated numbers of Urals cargoes in the second half of this month are both expected to be influential for spot prices in the coming days," Stevenson says. More relaxed OPEC+ production cuts will continue to feed into the market, he added.