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* Outright Urals prices tracked Brent, rising briefly on news of a fire at a major US refinery before falling again after the release of bearish stock data, They finished the week down on last week's levels, and further falls are expected.
* Urals' discount to Brent remained steady in the Mediterranean with first-decade May cargoes finding buyers. But discounts were expected to widen, as buyers are increasingly turning to rival Iraqi Kirkuk.
* Buyers are switching to Kirkuk because they do not expect its official selling price to change next month. This will make May Kirkuk cheaper than Urals. But Urals remains around 40[cts.]/bl cheaper in the north than in …