Front-month Brent/Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps widened sharply mid-morning June 17, amid a flurry of trading activity, which continues to demonstrate the strength in the sour crude complex for the August-loading trading cycle.
The front-month Brent/Dubai EFS was pegged at $3.69/b at 11 am Singapore time (0300 GMT) on June 17, up 12 cents/b from the Asian close on June 16, and on track to be assessed at the highest level since reaching $3.72/b on Nov. 8, 2019, at the Asian close, 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 to Brent-linked ones.
Activity in the sour crude market continued to pick up pace, reflecting strong demand cues and the relative attractiveness of Dubai-linked grades amid a wide Brent/Dubai EFS.
Initial talks indicated that the closely-watched Qatar Petroleum tender offering two 500,000-barrel cargoes of Al-Shaheen crude, was awarded at premiums of around $2.20/b and $2.60/b to Platts front-month Dubai crude assessments, FOB.
“The market is at this range, pre-tender trades for Al-Shaheen were also around this level,” said a crude oil trader based in Singapore.
Also, Russia’s Surgutneftegaz sold via a tender three 700,000-barrel cargoes of ESPO Blend crude loading in August, at premiums of around $3.60-$3.70/b to Platts front-month Dubai crude assessments. Two of the cargoes were heard sold to a Chinese end-user, and one was sold to a trading house, sources said.
“The premiums remain high but are within expectations, it is still the early trading period, maybe they will come down later,” said the trader.
At mid-morning in Singapore, the August/September Dubai time spread was pegged at 72 cents/b, down 3 cents/b from close on June 16, the data showed.
Meanwhile, the September/October Dubai time spread was pegged at 62 cents/b, up 1 cent/b from the previous day.