MOSCOW: Urals differentials were unchanged in low trading activity on Friday as traders waited for August first loading dates for an idea about export volume in the coming month.
The first loading dates for August are likely to be released on Monday, traders said.
Urals export in August is widely expected to stay limited as work on Baltic pipeline which pumps crude oil to Primorsk port combine with high refinery runs planned for the next month as seasonal demand for fuel is expected to rise.
Russian producers show an interest to sell crude in domestic market due to favourable economics, which may decrease export loadings.
Earlier this month Zarubezhneft cancelled its position to load 100,000 tonnes of Urals from Primorsk on July 25-26 to award this crude oil to domestic refineries, which decreased already limited loadings from Primorsk to 3.3 million tonnes, traders said.
Urals margins on European refineries also keep firm: cracks on 'complex' refineries in Mediterranean were at $6.36 a barrel compared to an avergae of $5.86 in the last five days, Reuters data shows.
There were no bids or offers for Urals, CPC Blend, Azeri BTC or Siberian Light in the Platts window on Friday, traders said.
Traders in the North Sea oil market have found a solution to the persistent overhang of unused barrels as Asia's hunger for crude is prompting its suppliers to get creative and provide some unusual exports - a combination of North Sea grades and Urals on VLCC tankers.
Total has declared force majeure on exports of Djeno crude oil in the Republic of Congo, traders said on Friday.