Russian ESPO price rises on high Middle East to Asia freight
Higher VLCC rates for Middle East crude to Asia has made Russian ESPO crude more competitive in the region, driving its price up, Reuters reports.
The collapse of the OPEC+ agreement last week which led to a sharp drop in oil prices sparked a flurry of cargo bookings. The resulting rise in the cost of freight for crude on VLCCs from the Middle East to Asia has added $4-$5/bl to the value of Middle East crude deliveries to Asia. This has made Russian ESPO crude, shipped from the far east Russian port Kozmino on Aframax tankers, more competitive in Asia. This has subsequently increased Aframax rates in the region.