RPT-Europe awash with quality oil as U.S. imports fall
On the other hand, Basra Light destined for the U.S. is priced off the Argus Sour Crude Index, a monthly average, which does not allow traders to take advantage of a drop in futures.
"I expect an additional 150,000 to 300,000 barrels per day of extra Basra Light hitting the Mediterranean in the second half of June," one trader said.
ASIA STEPS IN
Asian buyers have been quick to take advantage of the price falls on sweet grades.
At least 6 million barrels, double the usual amount, of Algeria's Saharan Blend is heading to Asia in May as Chinese refiner Unipec, an opportunistic buyer, bought a 2 million barrel shipment citing cheap prices.
Algeria's state oil company Sonatrach is also taking some crude to its storage facility in South Korea, market sources said.
Destinations of Libyan crude grades have also shifted. Asia, and India in particular, has become a new major destination. Indian tenders for light sweet crude are now often filled with Libyan grades such as Mellitah, competing with Nigerian grades.
Most recently, Vietnam has joined the ranks of Libyan crude buyers. PV Oil bought a cargo of Libyan Amna for June arrival.
PV Oil bought 600,000 barrels of Amna crude from European trader Glencore to be delivered in the first half of June, the sources said.
Exports of Azeri Light to Asia have risen in May to 6 million barrels up from the more usual 3 million, traders said.