Wires

Med Crude-Urals stable, further strength seen

LONDON, Oct 10 (Reuters) - Russian Urals crude was stable onWednesday with traders anticipating a further price spike in thenext few days due to poor cargo availability and good demandfrom refiners.

"I would not be surprised if Urals rose further on the backof superb refining margins," one trader said referring to theMediterranean market, where prices have strengthened to datedBrent minus 55 cents.

He said they could go as high as minus 30 cents.

"Urals is showing great refining value while the Med isshort of barrels. So I think so we will see it going up again,"said a second Urals trader.

He predicted that activity would remain thin until Russiapublishes early loading programmes for November within the next5-10 days.

"Urals is particularly tight and that is having an impact onthe sentiment in other markets, notably Iraqi Kirkuk. If Uralsgets stronger, then Kirkuk will certainly become more sexy,"said a third trader, valuing Kirkuk at around dated Brent minus$2 a barrel.

A fourth trader said that demand from Poland and Germanywere also supporting Urals in the Baltic as the countries needto buy more crude from Russian ports this month due to a shortpipeline deliveries schedule.

"Each of those need at least 300,000 tonne a month from thesea. So the situation is getting tight especially since a lot ofRussian refineries have come out of maintenances and there iszero stockpiles to feed that extra demand," he said.

In the Platts window, BP bid in the Baltic for an Oct 22-26Urals cargo at dated Brent minus $1.45 a barrel, some 15 centsweaker than on Monday, but found no sellers.

(Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Gleb Gorodyankin; editingby William Hardy)

((dmitri.zhdannikov@thomsonreuters.com)(+44 207 542 38 13))

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Keywords: MARKETS MEDITERRANEAN/CRUDE