The second direct-to-VLCC export of US crude from the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port is en route to the port of Shanghai, China, according to S&P Global Platts trade-flow software cFlow. The vessel Nave Photon departed LOOP on March 25, after having arrived at the offshore US Gulf of Mexico port March 15, cFlow showed. The vessel is believed to be laden with US Gulf Coast medium sour crude grade Mars and chartered by Shell, according to market sources. Following its departure from LOOP, the vessel has made its way past the Caribbean islands just northeast of Venezuela, according to data from cFlow. In recent months, buyers in China have been looking to increase their exposure to WTI-based crude grades in an attempt to diversify supply, according to a market source. An open arbitrage window for USGC crudes to go east has added to the attractiveness of buying USGC crude grades for buyers in China. The Dubai/WTI swap spread has widened $1.41/b since the start of March and 7 cents/b since the start of February to 96 cents/b as of Monday. As Dubai’s premium over WTI grows, WTI-based sour grades become more competitive with Dubai-based Middle Eastern sour grades in export… continue reading
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Source: CTRM Center