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DUBAI FUTURES: August EFS lower; India looks beyond Middle East crude

  • Author
  • Pankaj Rao
  • Editor
  • Norazlina Jumaat
  • Commodity
  • Oil

Front month Brent-Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps was a tad lower mid-morning June 7, while India continues to buy arbitrage crude as Middle East grades become expensive amid stronger demand fundamentals.

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The August Brent-Dubai EFS was pegged at $3.32/b at 11am (0300GMT) in Singapore June 7, down 7 cents/b from the Asian close on June 4, 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.

India's tender activity started early this month indicating the country's gradual recovery from a brutal second wave of the COVID-19 infection.

The country's biggest refiner, Indian Oil Corp., bought, via tender, 1 million-2 million barrels of West African crude and some other sweet crude. IOC was heard to have bought the cargoes from Shell, Chevron and Vitol, but this could not be immediately verified.

Fellow refiner MRPL had bought, via tender, 650,000 barrels of July-loading US crude, which the refiner was heard to have bought from BP, but this information could not be verified.

A widening Brent-Dubai spread has kept arbitrage barrels out of reach for most Asian refiners. However, India's geographical location and affordable freight make it easier for the country, sources said.

At mid-morning in Singapore, the August-September Dubai time spread was pegged at 53 cents/b, down 1 cent/b from the close on June 4, the data showed.

Meanwhile, the September-October Dubai time spread was pegged at 50 cents/b, also down 1 cent/b from the previous day.