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MOSCOW: Urals crude oil differentials eased to dated Brent on Friday, while CPC Blend fell to the widest discount since April last year amid weak demand and shut arbitrage.

Urals oil cargoes traded at weaker levels due to a sharp increase in early May loadings, according to the schedule released late on Thursday.

Caspian CPC Blend crude oil was under pressure as many May cargoes remained on offer. Refinery maintenance in Europe and shut arbitrage to Asia due to a wide Brent-Dubai price spread made demand for the grade weak.

China’s Unipec bought 100,000 tonnes of Urals loading from Baltic ports on May 2-7 from Trafigura at dated Brent minus $2.50 per barrel and a cargo of the same size loading on April 29 - May 3 from Glencore at dated Brent minus $2.55 per barrel, some 30 cents per barrel weaker than the recent estimates.

Litasco sold 85,000 tonnes of CPC Blend on May 5-9 from Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka at dated Brent minus $3.25 per barrel to BP, some 50 cents per barrel weaker than the recent estimates, traders said.

Chevron also sold 85,000 tonnes of CPC Blend to Petraco loading on May 5-9 at dated Brent minus $3.20 per barrel.

There were no bids or offers for Urals loading from Novorossiisk and Azeri BTC in the Platts window on Friday. NEWS

China’s daily crude oil throughput surged 19.7% in March from a year earlier, as refiners ramped up operations to meet robust fuel demand and to build up inventory before shutting down for overhaul.

The amount of oil transported by rail in Russia fell by a third in 2020 compared with 2019 due to rapid development of the state’s pipeline system and an output drop under the OPEC+ pact, traders said and Reuters calculations showed.

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