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DUBAI FUTURES: August EFS widens while market awaits supply cues

Front-month Brent/Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps widened at mid-morning June 25, with market participants seeking clarity on supply-side fundamentals for fresh pricing cues.

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The August Brent/Dubai EFS was pegged at $3.94/b at 11 am (0300 GMT) in Singapore on June 25, up 5 cents/b from the previous day, 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.

Market participants were focusing on the OPEC+ coalition's July 1 meeting, where they are expected to decide crude oil production quotas for August, and possibly the months ahead.

According to S&P Global Platts Analytics, August quotas are likely to increase by 500,000 b/d, as Saudi caution over global demand uncertainty and Iran nuclear talks may prevent a larger commitment.

"OPEC+ is likely to increase by 500,000 b/d to 1 million b/d for August, but they might not issue quotas for further ahead as Iranian barrels are a concern. Most expect Iran [crude exports] will be back by September or October," said a crude oil trader based in Singapore.

Supply-side uncertainty pertaining to the lifting of sanctions by US on Iranian crude oil exports remains a key focal point for market participants, as a return of Iranian crude could ease supply tightness and increase alternatives for end-users.

At mid-morning in Singapore, the August/September Dubai time spread was pegged at 74 cents/b, down 2 cents/b from close on June 24, the data showed.

Meanwhile, the September/October Dubai time spread was pegged at 63 cents/b, also down 2 cents/b from the previous day.