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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  MOSCOW INTERBANK CURRENCY EXCHANGE  >  Gazprom PAO    GAZP   RU0007661625

GAZPROM PAO (GAZP)
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Strong China demand pushes Russian ESPO crude oil premiums to 4-yr high

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09/20/2018 | 07:21am CEST

Spot premiums for Russia’s ESPO Blend crude oil have hit their highest in more than four years, buoyed by a jump in Chinese demand, multiple trade sources said on Thursday, Reuters reports.

Producers Surgutneftegaz and Gazprom Neft have sold three cargoes loading in the first week of November at premiums of $5 to $6 a barrel to Dubai quotes, the sources said, up to $2 higher than deals the month before.

The premiums are the highest since 2014 and have overtaken those for better-quality Russian grade Sokol, according to the sources and Reuters data.

The companies could not immediately be reached for comment.

“It’s quite unusual for ESPO to trade higher than Sokol as it has a higher sulfur content ... than Sokol,” said a China-based trader.

China’s crude demand, which is usually strong ahead of the peak winter season, has been stoked further as some Chinese independent refiners, known as teapots, are snapping up cargoes to use up import quotas by year-end, the sources said.

“They want to receive the crude by end-December for customs records and for winter demand,” one of the sources said, adding that Chinese buyers also typically pile up stocks ahead of Lunar New Year, which falls in February in 2019.

Demand for Russian and Middle Eastern crude priced off Dubai quotes has also been strong this month because of a wider price gap between the Middle East benchmark and Brent, while the upcoming U.S. sanctions on Iran have reduced Iranian oil exports to Asia, traders said.

The average spot premium for November-loading Oman crude, another popular grade among Chinese buyers, has almost tripled from the previous month to about $1.90 a barrel above Dubai quotes, according to Reuters calculations.

For ESPO, Surgutneftega on Tuesday sold a cargo for loading on Oct. 31-Nov. 5 at a premium of about $4.90 a barrel to Dubai quotes, the sources said, declining to be identified as they were not authorised to speak with media.

On Wednesday, Gazprom Neft sold a cargo at $5.40-$5.50 a barrel above Dubai quotes, while Surgutneftegaz sold a second cargo loading on Nov. 3-8 at a premium close to $6 a barrel, the sources said.

The strong premiums took some traders by surprise and they said they doubted the trend would last as Chinese buyers are likely to seek other supplies as their profit margins get squeezed by high feedstock costs.

“It certainly eats into margins badly,” said a Chinese crude buyer.

© 2018 Trend News Agency ALL RIGHTS RESERVED, source News Service

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
GAZPROM NEFT' PAO --End-of-day quote.
GAZPROM PAO --End-of-day quote.
SURGUTNEFTEGAZ PAO --End-of-day quote.
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Financials ($)
Sales 2018 123 B
EBIT 2018 23 535 M
Net income 2018 17 287 M
Debt 2018 35 994 M
Yield 2018 5,84%
P/E ratio 2018 3,29
P/E ratio 2019 3,17
EV / Sales 2018 0,74x
EV / Sales 2019 0,73x
Capitalization 55 091 M
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
Sell
Buy
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 11
Average target price 3,30 $
Spread / Average Target 42%
EPS Revisions
Managers
NameTitle
Alexei Borisovich Miller Deputy Chairman & Chairman-Management Board
Viktor Alexeevich Zubkov Chairman
Timur Askarovich Kulibayev Independent Director
Vladimir Alexandrovich Mau Director
Andrey Igorevich Akimov Director
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