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Written by: Staff
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SEOUL, Mar 31 (Reuters) Spot differentials of fuel-oil rich Oman crude edged down for June loading compared with Dubai crude amid weak margins of the oil product, while Australian light sweet Cossack was offered lower on soft demand.

June loading Oman was notionally assessed at a 1-cent premium to its OSP, down from a 1.5-cent premium earlier this week.

The marginal decline in Oman crude came despite the lack of trade, since sluggish fuel oil margins could dampen refiners' appetite for the Middle East benchmark medium sour.

Fuel oil's discount to Dubai crude has deepened by $2 a barrel this week due to heavy supplies amid uncertain demand.

In the Asia-Pacific crude market, a Japanese trader was offering May loading Cossack crude at a 50-cent-a-barrel discount to APPI Tapis quotes, lower than a previous deal at a 40-cent discount.

The lower offering of Cossack crude came despite the halt in production at Woodside Petroleum's Cossack oilfield on Cyclone Glenda.

Traders blamed the weak margin for naphtha and Asian refiners' preference of condensate for the weaker value of the Australian light sweet grade.

In the medium and heavy sweet crude market, the higher OSP of benchmark Minas crude may add downward pressure for May loading cargoes, which already hampered by soft demand from Japan.

March retroactive Minas crude OSP has been calculated 11 cents higher than February to $61.19 a barrel, when the OSP of light sweet Tapis fell $1.07 from February.

In tender news, Vietnam has offered 450,000-500,000 barrels of light sweet Ruby crude for late-May loading via its regular monthly tender. (for full story click [ID:nT103948]) In the swaps market, May Brent/Dubai exchange of futures for swaps (EFS) stood around $4.65 a barrel, compared with $4.55-$4.60 on Thursday evening.

REUTERS SS SP1327

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