Med Crude-Urals picks up; Saudi Arabia cuts OSP
LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) - Russian sour Urals crude was bid at a slightly higher level on Wednesday than earlier this week following the cancellation of the export tender by Surgutneftegas earlier this week.
State run Saudi Aramco made steeper cuts to May official selling prices to Mediterranean and European customers than Asia.
That may put pressure on Urals crude differentials, some traders said.
"It can also be a gesture from Saudi that it is trying to make up for lost Iranian stuff in Europe," a trader said.
* Total bid for 80,000 tonnes for April 14-18 loading at dated Brent benchmark minus $2.55 a barrel cif Mediterranean in the public trading window. There was no offer.
* A trader said there has been a shortage of 80,000 cargos in the Mediterranean, resulting in cracking the arbitrage from the Northwest Europe earlier this week.
* But demand for larger 140,000 tonne cargoes remained slow and its discounts to the smaller cargoes steepened by 10-20 cents to about 50-70 cents per tonne.
* Russia will this month slash oil deliveries to the Czech Republic, in addition to cuts to Poland and Germany, as it seeks to divert supplies to its own ports, including the newly built Baltic Ust-Luga terminal, traders said.
They said this week that Russia has scheduled to supply only 80,000 tonnes of crude to the Czech Republic in April compared with the usual monthly allocation of 400,000 tonnes of Urals, the country's export grade.
* Sweet barrels continued to weaken. Vitol offered 85,000 tonnes of CPC Blend at the benchmark minus $1.25 a barrel cif MED, lowering its offer level on Tuesday at the benchmark minus 10 cents a barrel.
* Tanker fixture showed Shell booked very large crude carrier Princimar Hope from Libya to Asia. The loading date is April 15.
* India's Bharat Petroleum Corp's bought Nigerian Akpo from Glencore via a tender. Traders said some Libyan crude was offered into this tender but it was not clear if the company bought any Libyan crude.
* A tender issued by Russian state-controlled oil firm Zarubezhneft closed earlier on Wednesday. It was looking to buy Libyan Es Sider crude to be delivered to the Croatian port of Rijeka. (Reporting by Julia Payne and Ikuko Kurahone; Editing by Alden Bentley)
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