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            The direction of Asia's oil market remains unclear
            Column:Industry news Time:2018-04-28
            Asian markets:

            Mixed market sentiment, prices to maintain a firm, market trends remain unclear. Trading sentiment in Asia's base oil market is mixed. Some traders are raising prices cautiously, although downstream lubricants market sales soft, prices remain high. Some refiners, however, have stopped supplying stock and will reduce regular shipments unless buyers are willing to pay top dollar. Some market participants believe both buyers and sellers have every reason to maintain the status quo. However, the deadlock in supply and demand reflects the fact that it is time to buy spot. As of March 1, sentiment on the spot market remained mixed. Some traders say there is a shortage of supplies, while others are talking to refineries about buying. Most traders agree that markets remain uncertain. Since last weekend, raw material prices have been quite loose. However, it is difficult to make up for the impact of the previous high price of raw materials from refineries. As a result, most refiners are still offering higher spot prices or are temporarily suspending supply. The downstream market is not tepid in terms of demand for all Asian base oil, while traders are increasingly interested in China SN150, 150N, India II base oil and a small amount of southeast Asian SN500. Most Asian traders are wary of buying. Since the sales of finished lubricants cannot keep pace with the rise in the price of base oils, they keep low inventories. Some traders expect refiners to continue to reduce their supply of spot resources unless base oil prices rise in tandem with the rise in raw materials. At the same time, sinopec adjusted the price of class I base oil for downstream lubricant manufacturers, increasing by 180 yuan/ton, effective feb 25. Russia's Rosneft plans to export 18,900 tons of class I base oil to China in March and April, including 134,400 tons of low-viscosity products and 7,560 tons of high-viscosity products, an importer said. In march, Taiwan's Formosa petrochemical (FPCC) plans to send China a regular contract of 35,000 tonnes of class II base oil. It is unlikely to send cash in March. Ⅰ class base oil:

            All grade I base oil prices are stable and strong. The 1,000-ton 500SN traded at $940 per ton FOB Asia, which has not been confirmed. The same seller sold 2,000 tons of bright oil for $1,150 per ton CFR India, also not confirmed. Some buyers think spot supply is tight, while others say there is no difficulty in procuring spot goods. The outbound price of Singapore is stable and the transaction is quiet. A seller offered 400 tons of 500SN, and the Malaysia delivery price was $1,070 per ton, but the buyer did not accept it because it did not meet the technical specifications. But it has not been confirmed. The talks have been going on for two or three weeks, but the ships are tight because of higher shipping costs. Traders said the FOB Asia high-end price after the freight cost, can not attract end users. Southeast Asian market, 500SN and 150SN goods demand stable. Some traders talk to a refinery about prices at the high end of FOB Asia. In India, supplies are tight as refiners prepare to close during the third week of march due to a holiday in Iran, and traders who hold Iranian grade I oil are eager to make an offer. But some buyers insist on buying at the lower end of the CFR. Meanwhile, on Wednesday February 27th Pakistan's national refiner launched a tender to sell 2, 000 tonnes of bright oil. The tender includes 1000 tons of medium viscosity bright oil and 1000 tons of high viscosity bright oil. The tender closed on 7 March and the period of loading is from 21 to 27 March. Market sources said domestic prices for all grades of base oil from Hindustan petroleum corporation (HPCL) and Indian petroleum corporation (IOC) were raised by 0.75 rupees/litre. Most Chinese blending plants remain on the sidelines as demand for finished lubricants wanes. At the same time, importers and traders are coming back to the market for purchases in anticipation of shortages as category I base oil refineries reduce spot supply. Light 150SN demand continues to improve due to seasonal shifts, with the light lube oil industry improving from march to April, and prices will remain high in the coming weeks. Domestic prices in China are chaotic. In eastern China, the price of 150SN increased by 100-200 yuan/ton to 8,900-9,200 yuan/ton. The high-end price of 400SN increased by 250 yuan/ton to 9000-9450 yuan/ton. The high-end price of the light oil was lowered by 800 yuan per ton to 10300-11,000 yuan per ton. Ⅱ class base oil:

            7,000 tons of class II base oil arrived in India this week. Another 4,000 tons, 150N and 500N, were traded at $960-980 / ton FOB northeast Asia and $1,050-1,070 / ton FOB northeast Asia respectively, but have not been confirmed. Two North-East Asian refineries cut supply, one of them with a small supply of physical goods, leaving buyers with little choice but to buy at a high price. 150N FOB Asia price increased by $30 / ton, while 500N price increased by $10 / ton. Asian buyers are still looking for 150N supplies, with higher demand leading to higher fuel prices. In India, several buyers jointly bought 7,000 tons of mixed class II base oil, adding to the 13,500 tons sold last week, bringing the total to 20,500 tons in two weeks. An overhaul of a northeast Asian refinery has been delayed until April but will not be available in March. Market participants believe that type II oil supply shortage will continue. Most buyers plan to stock up before the tight end of the march to may period. India's IOC bids to buy 5,500 tons of base oil. The cargo includes 2,500 tons solvent oil, 1,500 tons 70N, 1,000 tons class III base oil 4cst and 500 tons class III base oil 6cst. The tender will end on March 12/13 and the shipping date is April. The price of Indian class II base oil 65N and 150N is 1 rupees/l, and the price of 500N is 62.80 rupees/l. In other parts of Asia, the physical shortage is exacerbated by increased demand from buyers for 150N in China. A total of 4,000 tons, 150N and 500N, were sold to China and Taiwan respectively at 960-980 tons /FOB northeast Asia and $1,050-1,070 / ton FOB northeast Asia. But it has not been confirmed. The price of 60N in China is maintained at 9,000-9,100 yuan/ton, the price of 150N is increased by 100 yuan/ton to 9,000-9,700 yuan/ton, and the price of 500N is increased by 50-100 yuan/ton to 9,600-9,650 yuan/ton. Ⅲ class base oil:

            A northeast Asian refiner is avoiding spot supply because of a shortage of goods due to the April overhaul plan. At the same time, buyers from different sources of small procurement to meet the immediate demand. Individual sellers offer different prices according to their own situation, so the price range of class III base oil is large. Low volume, stable prices. Meanwhile, the price of a Middle East III base oil refinery rose again, by $20 to $30 a tonne, but the news has not been confirmed. The refinery last offered $1,100 - $1,120 per ton CFR India.