–Clyde Russell is a Reuters columnist. The views expressed are his own.– By Clyde Russell SINGAPORE, May 25 (Reuters) – If you are looking for evidence that China is becoming more assertive in the global economy, then the trading of physical crude oil in Asia is a good example. Chinaoil, the trading arm of state-controlled giant PetroChina, bought a record 55 cargoes in the Middle East crude market in April, beating its previous high of 47 in October last year. These cargoes were bought in the Platts window, the physical trading platform that allows buyers and sellers to match cargoes at the close of the trading day, while contributing to the market’s price discovery process. While many cargoes are traded outside of the Platts window, it’s the place to go if you want to be seen to be active in the market, and the strong buying by Chinaoil suggests they want the visibility and influence their heavy trading is bringing. When Chinaoil snapped up 47 cargoes in October for December delivery, the market buzz was that the trader wanted the physical oil to help fill strategic storage in China, while at the same time taking advantage of the movement in … continue reading
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