February 8, 2018 / 4:14 AM / 3 years ago

UPDATE 2-Iraq cuts March Basra crude official prices for Asia, Europe

    * Basra crude prices for Asia fall to lowest in 6 months
    * March spot cargoes to stay under pressure in Asia on ample supplies

 (Adds comments)
    By Florence Tan
    SINGAPORE, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Iraq has cut the March official selling price
(OSP) for Basra Light crude to Asia by 35 cents from the previous month to minus
40 cents per barrel below the average of Oman and Dubai quotes, a pricing
document reviewed by Reuters showed on Thursday.
    Basra Heavy crude to Asia for March loading was priced at minus $4.20 a
barrel to Oman and Dubai quotes, down 45 cents.
    Price cuts by the second-largest producer in the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) tracked discounts for spot Basra crude
cargoes sold to Asia for February.
    March prices for both grades to Asia were set at the lowest in six months
with Basra Light at 20 cents a barrel below rival Saudi Arabian Arab Medium
crude, the widest discount since April 2016, Reuters data showed.
    Despite the price cuts, spot prices for Basra crude loading in March could
still come under pressure amid ample supplies of similar quality medium-sour
grades, a trader who handles Iraqi grades said.             
    He expects spot March Basra Light crude sold to Asia to stay at a small
discount to its OSP.
    For Europe, Iraq's Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) reduced the March OSP for
Basra Light by 95 cents to dated Brent minus $4.10 a barrel, and the March Basra
Heavy OSP dropped to minus $7.50.
    The March Basra Light OSP to the North and South American markets was set at
the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI) minus 60 cents a barrel, down 10 cents from
the previous month.
    The following table shows latest OSPs (prices for previous month in
                 Americas         Europe            Far East
                 (ASCI)           (Dated Brent)     (Oman/Dubai)
Basra Light      -0.60 (-0.50)    -4.10 (-3.15)     -0.40 (-0.05)
Kirkuk           +0.45 (+0.55)    -3.05 (-2.80)     ‫N/A (‫N/A)
Basra Heavy      -3.30 (-3.30)    -7.50 (-6.20)     -4.20 (-3.75)

 (Reporting by Florence Tan
Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Christian Schmollinger)
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