SINGAPORE: Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization (SOMO) surprised traders last week with a second public tender in two months, offering up to 50,000 tonnes of fuel oil for February loading, documents from its website showed.
The cargo, ranging from 30,000 to 50,000 tonnes, will be shipped on three coastal tankers Alforat, Shattalarab and Baghdad. Each tanker can load about 10,000 tonnes of fuel oil, a shipping source said.
While Iraq issued tenders sporadically in the past, SOMO seemed to be making this more regular, a trade based in Singapore said.
Traders said Iraqi fuel oil exports had previously been done via third-party traders rather than through SOMO itself.
The reason for the tender process and the results of the previous tender issued in late November were not immediately clear.
SOMO could not be reached for comment.
The small cargo, typically of low-density straight-run quality, could head into the blending pool or the African market, traders said.
For this tender, the buyer has to pay the price of the first three shipments in advance, before discharging, based on an estimated price of $650 a tonne, the document said.
The sum of other shipments, to be paid before loading, will be calculated using the average of spot Singapore 180-cst quotes and bunker prices in Fujairah or Kuwait.
The tender will close on Jan. 30, 11 a.m. Iraqi local time. (Reuters)