Middle East Crude-Benchmarks rise; China’s Aug refinery output hits record high
Middle East crude benchmarks Oman, Dubai and Murban advanced on Friday as China’s oil demand is proved to remain resilient, with official data showing a record high refinery output last month.
China’s oil refinery throughput in August rose to a record, data showed on Friday, as processors in the world’s second-largest crude consumer kept run rates high to meet summer travel demand and capitalise on strengthening export margins.
Total refinery throughput was a record 64.69 million metric tons last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed, up 19.6% from a year ago, the fastest annual growth since March 2021.
For physical trade, Qatar Energy hiked the price for term cargoes of al-Shaheen crude oil loading in November to the highest in 2023, trade sources said on Friday, amid tight sour crude supply after Saudi Arabia extended its output cut to the end of the year.
The November price was set at about $2.73 a barrel above Dubai quotes, up from October’s $2.10 a barrel and hitting the highest level since December 2022.
Meanwhile, China’s Rongsheng has bought 6 million barrels of Brazilian and West African crude via its monthly tender.
Kuwait raised the official selling price (OSP) for Kuwait Export Crude (KEC) to Asia in September by 20 U.S. cents from the previous month to $3.05 a barrel above the average of Oman/Dubai quotes, a price document reviewed by Reuters showed on Friday.
The producer also increase the October Kuwait Super Light Crude (KSLC) OSP to $2.45 a barrel above Oman/Dubai quotes, 30 cents higher than the previous month.
SINGAPORE CASH DEALS
Cash Dubai’s premium to swaps rose 30 cents to $2.45 a barrel.
India’s Reliance Industries RELI.NS said on Thursday that it plans to temporarily shut three units at its plant in Jamnagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat for planned maintenance and inspection activities.
Naval forces of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have in recent days seized two Panama-flagged ships smuggling a total of 1.5 million litres of fuel, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported on Thursday.
High petrol refining profit margins are a source for concern and may need to be addressed by government action, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Thursday.
Crude oil prices above $90 a barrel in the United States stirred worries that inflation could rise further in an economy where the Federal Reserve has already hiked interest rates steeply to control rising prices.
U.S. oil refiners are expected to have about 648,000 barrels per day (bpd) of capacity offline for the week ending Sept. 15, decreasing available refining capacity by 61,000 bpd, research company IIR Energy said on Friday.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Muyu Xu; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)