Russian Aframax Urals netbacks weakest since May as freight rates rise

A surge in freight rates for Aframax cargoes loading in the Black Sea and Mediterranean over the past week combined with a slightly weaker CIF Augusta assessment for Urals crude has helped send the FOB Novorossiisk Urals market to its lowest versus Dated Brent since May 25, Hellenicshippingnews reported.

FOB Novorossiisk Aframax Urals cargoes were assessed at a $2.68/b discount to the Mediterranean Dated Strip Tuesday.

Platts assesses FOB Novorossiisk Aframax cargoes as a freight netback to the CIF-delivered Rotterdam Urals market, using the Black Sea-Mediterranean 80,000 mt freight route to calculate the Urals value back to its loading point at the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk.

In this case, the weakening in the FOB assessment was also helped by a lower CIF Augusta assessment as the CIF Augusta quote dropped 16 cents/b since the beginning of last week to Dated Brent minus $0.90/b Tuesday.

The Black Sea to Mediterranean Aframax route, basis 80,000 mt, rose to w142.5 Tuesday, w12.5 higher than it was on October 19. There has been strong demand from Libya and Ceyhan, Turkey this week as well as additional Black Sea cargoes, which is pushing up prices at a time when tonnage is already tight, sources said.

Bad weather is also affecting ports in the Mediterranean and the Italian ports of Santa Panagia Bay, Milazzo and Taranto were all shut today due to high winds, which will delay vessels loading, sources said.

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