14 May, 2018
On May 8, US Trump Administration announced its decision to withdraw from the Iranian nuclear deal and resume economic sanctions against Iran. If Asian end-users purchase crude oil from Iran, they are likely to face difficulties in bank settlement and securing marine insurance. Iran mainly exports medium/heavy grades such as Iranian Light and Iranian Heavy. Any disruption of Iranian crude oil exports is expected to tighten up supply-demand fundamentals in Middle Eastern crude oil led by medium/heavy grades.
For US crudes, more cargoes of Mars and Bakken were destined to Asia, on top of WTI Midlands. The growing inflow came as the sustained wide gaps between WTI and Dubai in favor of the latter made WTI-linked US crudes underpriced. In condensate-related news, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) picked up US Eagle Ford and Libyan Melitta in its buy tender for July-September arrival.
Among Vietnamese crudes, the country’s state-run PV Oil concluded its term sell tenders on Su Tu Den and T.G.T. for July-December loading. Both crudes were awarded to Vietnam’s domestic Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical at premiums of the low $3 level over DTD Brent. With regards to Australian crudes, Australia’s Santos sold Mutineer Exeter for July loading. Santos will discontinue production of Mutineer Exeter after the shipment of this cargo. Drying oil fields continued to limit output, and the producer found it difficult to keep operations profitable.