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Med crude-Urals at 23-month highs in the north on fresh demand for July volumes

Urals edges up higher in northwest Europe on expected limited supply of the grade in the region and fresh demand from big regional players to the thinnest discount to dated Brent in two years.

* Surgutneftegaz awarded its tender to sell 300,000 tonnes of Urals loading from Baltic port on July 1-6 to Total and ExxonMobil at dated Brent minus $0.95-1.05 a barrel range, traders said.

* The deal’s level is about 15 cents firmer than recent trades and at the record level since July 2015, Reuters data shows.

* Total was back as a tender participant after a month-long pause due to unplanned maintenance on its German Leuna refinery that is expected to be back online in July.

* During the maintenance on Leuna refinery Total had to offload crude oil volumes it purchased via Druzhba pipeline and will load five Urals cargoes from the port of Gdansk by the end of June, traders said and shipping reports showed.

* The latest tanker Penelop chartered by Total is expected to load 100,000 tonnes of Urals from Gdansk in June 22-23, shipping reports show.

* “Total is back in the game and it heats the market up, but other refiners also have high demand for limited Urals volumes, so no surprise differentials are firmer,” a Urals trader said.

* Urals exports from Baltic ports in July are expected to be around the same level as in June, 5.5 million tonnes, due to maintenance on Baltic pipeline.

* There were no bids or offers for Urals in Mediterranean or northwest Europe and Azeri BTC on Monday in the Platts window, traders said.

* CPC Blend differentials were unchanged as Socar continued to offer its cargo of 85,000 tonnes loading on June 29-July 3 at dated Brent minus $1.05 a barrel to BFOE, but failed to find a buyer, traders said.

CPC Blend differentials were under pressure from an overhang of light grades in Mediterranean. Sellers of alternative Saharan Blend also tried hard to find buyers, not all June cargoes were placed, traders said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Olga Yagova; Editing by Edmund Blair)

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