Oil crude market: Brent down but strengthening

Published March 29th, 2001 - 02:00 GMT

IPE May Brent crude futures extended losses late Wednesday morning as the complex absorbed the latest stocks data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showing a larger than expected build in crude stocks in the U.S., brokers said, reported BridgeNews. 


But despite been down at midday, Brent seem rising later on the week due on improved US economic data, rebound in stock mkts, say brokers, according to Dow Jones.  


Also, the API-reported drop in refinery capacity utilization, "shows mkt cannot be certain refineries will be able to ramp up gasoline output in Apr, which is what is needed to avert a pdt squeeze," says GNI.(DJ) 


At midday strong support for IPE Apr gasoil is seen at $216/ton, with resistance at $222.75, says broker. Seen tracking US products, DOE data to give next direction. At $219.25. (SMF)  


According to Platts, dated Brent moved higher in early trade Wednesday, with Sempra seeming to back off from its Tuesday May minus $1.10 offer for an Apr 5-7 Brent. 


The Apr 02-06 Brent CFD traded late Tuesday at May minus 66 cts, Vitol to Koch for 500 lots, and then at May minus 65 cts, Vitol to Stasco for 250 lots, Wednesday. 


The market was then well bid at May minus 65 cts against an offer from Vitol at May minus 60 cts. One Apr 12-14 Brent B0414 was expected ex-chains Wednesday.  


May Brent/Dubai was offered by Caltex at plus $2.40, while JAron bid May/Jun Dubai at plus 20 cts. On North Sea grade markets, the overhang of prompt Ekofisk has cleared up, traders said, with some stems being sold and others being taken home. 


May Oman premium rebounded on the back of strong buying interest from majors. The rebound was attributed to an equity producer buying to meet its system requirements. 


May Oman last traded at MOG-1 cts. Players expect fresh indications from Taiwan's May buy tender. This tender is expected to set the tone for balance of the May Oman programme.  


A May 1.4-mil bbl Qatar Marine heard traded at QGPC-6 cts. In the regional market, trading on light-sweet cruds were thin. Trade on May Minas has resumed. 


A May 200kb Minas parcel heard traded at ICP55 cts. Sources 

noted that demand from Japan and China has improved for regional medium sweet grades.  


May Duri offers were heard at ICP30 cts. In other developments, Vietnam is not expected to offer Rang Dong for May. One May Masa parcel is still on offer. 


In the swaps market, trade was focused on May Brent/Dubai EFS. May Brent/Dubai talked at 2.55-2.58. In Tapis swaps, Apr/May talked at cts with May pegged at 26.36-26.40. 

PRICES (at 1200 GMT): 


IPE May Brent  

Last $25.64 High $25.70 Low $25.50 Change dn 25c  


IPE April gas oil 

Last $219.00 High $220.25 Low $217.50 Change dn $1.50  



© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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