Trading houses positioning for China demand Import tax on LCO may shift China’s demand to gasoil Premiums of Russia’s ESPO Blend crude rose to multi-month highs in the current month amid expectations that Chinese refineries may look to maximize their middle distillate production following the implementation of an import tax.  Recent tenders for July loading ESPO crude by Russian oil major Surgutneftegaz traded at premiums of between $2.95/b and $3.50/b in May as against Platts Dubai crude assessments, FOB, the highest since December 2020 when they traded at premiums of $3.20-$3.30/b, S&P Global Platts data showed. While the cargoes were heard to have been sold to trading houses and oil majors, traders indicated that there were expectation that demand could emerge from China for middle distillate-rich crude oil grades following the government’s surprise move to levy […]