Brent/Dubai April EFS, intermonths narrow; traders await Indian tender outcome

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The front-month Exchange of Futures for Swaps narrowed in midmorning Asia trading on Feb. 19 while traders awaited the outcome of an Indian Oil purchase tender.

The April Exchange of Futures for Swaps was valued at $2.49/b at 11 am Singapore time (0300 GMT) on Feb. 19, narrowing 17 cents/b from the Asian close on Feb. 18, S&P Global Platts data showed.

The Brent/Dubai EFS is a key indicator of the spread between light, sweet and heavy, sour crudes, and a wider EFS makes crude priced against Dubai more economically attractive for Asian refiners compared with Brent-linked ones.

Market participants awaited the outcome of an Indian Oil Corp. purchase tender that closed Feb. 18. The tender sought Middle East and West African crude for April-loading.

Initial talks showed that the refiner could have purchased five million barrels of West African crude and two million barrels of Basrah crude.

The West African crude purchase include two million barrels of Nigerian Akpo Blend and Bonny Light crude, said a crude oil trader. The Nigerian crude grades were heard sold by Shell, but the same could not be verified.

In other news, Thailand’s IRPC was heard to have bought a 500,000 barrel cargo each of Abu Dhabi’s Murban crude and Banoco Arab Medium crude for April loading.

While the Murban crude was heard bought at a premium of about 10 cents/b to the grade’s official selling price, the Banoco Arab Medium was heard traded at a discount to its OSP.

“Lighter grades have been in demand compared to the medium grades. Yield is better and when OSPs are on par then demand for lighter grades increase,” said a trader in Singapore.

At midmorning trading in Singapore (0300 GMT), the April/May Dubai time spread was valued at 55 cents/b, narrowing 9 cents/b from the previous day, Platts data showed.

The May/June Dubai intermonth spread was pegged at 54 cents/b, narrowing 12 cents/b from the Asia close Feb.18, the data showed.
Source: Platts