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Med crude-Urals diffs ease in Baltic despite a drop in April exports

PUBLISHED: Wed, 24 Mar 2021 18:44:25 GMT

MOSCOW, March 24 (Reuters) – Urals crude oil differentials to dated Brent eased in northwest Europe on Wednesday amid weak demand, though a preliminary loading plan for April showed exports of the Russian grade from Baltic ports will drop next month.

* The Urals oil loading plan from Russia’s Primorsk and Ust-Luga Baltic ports has been set at 3.9 million tonnes for April, down from 4.1 million tonnes in March, the preliminary plan seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday.

* Siberian Light and Urals oil loadings from the Black Sea port of Novorossiisk are set to rise slightly in April to 1.63 million tonnes from 1.55 million tonnes in March, the schedule showed.

* Rising worries about fall in demand amid fresh lockdowns in Europe weigh on price estimates of April cargoes, traders said.

PLATTS WINDOW

* Gunvor sold 100,000 tonnes of Urals oil loading from Baltic ports on April 6-10 to Shell at dated Brent minus $2.10 per barrel, some 25 cents per barrel weaker than the recent estimates.

* There were no bids or offers for Urals loading from Novorossiisk, CPC Blend or Azeri BTC in the Platts window on Wednesday. NEWS

* Dozens of ships carrying everything from oil to consumer goods have been delayed by the grounding of a vessel in the Suez Canal, and companies may have to re-route cargoes around Africa if the blockage extends beyond 24 hours, shipping sources said.

* With oil prices making steady gains earlier this year, OPEC and other producers had hoped to ease output cuts, but industry sources say a fresh wave of lockdowns around the world threatens to tear up those plans. (Reporting by Olga Yagova and Gleb Gorodyankin; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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