Rising USGC sour prices prompt more imports: In the LOOP

US crude imports into the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port appear to be on an upswing in May alongside the recent increase in regional sour crude prices. About 3.95 million barrels of crude was imported into LOOP in the first decade of May, or roughly 395,000 b/d, according to the most-recent US Customs Bureau and S&P Global Platts Analytics data, compared with an average of 327,000 b/d in the first four months of 2018. Roughly half of those barrels were Basrah Light and Basrah Heavy imported from Iraq while the balance comprised Argentinian Escalante, Kuwait Export Crude and Mexican Maya barrels. Marathon imported 2.4 million barrels of that amount while ExxonMobil and Trafigura imported about 975,000 barrels and 545,000 barrels, respectively. The uptick in crude imports at LOOP coincides with a recent increase in regional sour crude prices. By midday Monday, the US Gulf of Mexico offshore grade Mars was heard bid-ask at a 65 cents/b-$1/b premium to cash West Texas Intermediate at Cushing, Oklahoma. That put its value somewhere around plus 70 cents/b to cash WTI compared with plus 45 cents/b at the beginning of May and minus 60 cents/b at the beginning of March. The increases have been due… continue reading

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Source: CTRM Center

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