As the US-China trade war seems to be spiraling out of control, not even the renewed conflict potential in the Middle East and ever-tight physical crude supply were enough to produce a more substantial crude price jump. For much of the past seven days, crude prices remained in a limbo when an array of various factors seemed to counteract each other – first global economic growth forecasts for 2019 were cut, then Middle Eastern safety concerns sprung up, then tight supply came into prominence again, only to be eventually overpowered by another buildup of US commercial crude inventories.
As of Wednesday afternoon, global benchmark Brent traded at 70.5-71 USD per barrel, whilst WTI was assessed at 61.2-61.4 USD per barrel.
1. Traders Sell Contaminated Russian Crude to Asia
– The Russian organic chloride contamination saga is edging to its end as Chinese refineries bought most of the crude that was sitting idle in the Baltic Sea for days.
– At least two VLCCs are currently en route to China, MT New Comfort and MT Amyntas, having loaded contaminated Urals from Aframaxes in the region via STS transfer.
– Some 15 distressed Aframax cargoes were stuck in the Baltic Sea after traditional Urals buyers refused to allow cargoes from Ust-Luga – Chinese appetite for risk has cleared more than half of contaminated volumes.
– As per market reports, global trading house Vitol sold a VLCC to Chinese teapot refiner Bora Group, with…