Crude oil futures were lower in mid-morning trade in Asia Sept. 6, though spot trading activity is expected to pick up over Sept. 6-10 as the market starts trading November-loading cargoes. Crude oil prices are expected to remain supported on continued supply disruptions in the US Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ida struck in the week ended Sept. 4.
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ICE November Brent crude futures stood at $71.82/b as of 0300 GMT Sept. 6, down 79 cents/b (1.09%) from its Sept. 3 settlement price.
Middle East crude
** Activity in the week ahead could see an uptick in trade for November-loading crude through more spot tenders, although the wait continues for issuance of official selling prices, or OSPs, by producers such as Qatar Petroleum and Iraq's SOMO.
** Saudi Aramco issued OSPs for its October-loading Asia bound crude with a cut in prices by $1/b-$1.30/b across all its grades, while ADNOC also issued prices for its crude grades.
** Trading activity this month could see an improvement especially from China and Japan. While Japanese winter demand is expected to support buying sentiments, more import quotas issued to independent refineries could resurrect lackluster Chinese crude appetite seen in August.
** Over Aug. 30-Sept. 3, India's MRPL was heard to have bought, via tender, 1 million barrels of Nigerian crude for delivery in October.
** Dubai cash/futures (M1/M3) averaged $1.80/b in the week ended Sept. 3, against $2.08/b in the week ended Aug. 27.
** Intermonth spreads were lower during mid-morning trade Sept. 6, with November/December pegged at 69 cents/b, down 3 cents/b from the Asia close Sept. 3.
** November Brent/Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps, or EFS, was pegged at $3.30/b at mid-morning Sept. 6, down 11 cents/b from the Asia close Sept. 3.
Asia Pacific crude
** Market participants seek clarity on Pertamina's procurement tender results for October-arrival condensates. Trading activity for October-loading condensates has slowed down, with some unsold October-loading condensates such as Wheatstone still remaining available in the market.
** For Far East Russian grades, market participants await fresh tenders for November-loading barrels, amid softening sentiment as Chinese import quotas remain limited.
** On regional crudes, traders will be looking out for the program of November-loading cargoes.
** Trading activity for Australian heavy sweet crude remain in focus, with traders seeking clarity on trade activity for October-loading Pyrenees and Van Gogh crude.
** In Sudanese crude grades, market participants will be looking out for the outcome of Senning's tender offering October-loading Dar Blend.
** Traders will be keeping an eye on activity for US' WTI Midland crude, which is expected to be competitive with regional grades amid a wide WTI/Brent spread.
** Cash differentials for December-arrival cargoes of Brazilian Tupi crude are expected to be steady, supported by signs of recovery in Chinese demand.
** The OPEC+ alliance in its meeting Sept. 1 agreed to increase crude output by 400,000 b/d scheduled for October, which is also aligned with its current easing policy. OPEC+ ministers reviewed an internal forecast that indicated global oil demand would far exceed supply through the rest of the year, by 1 million b/d in September, 1.1 million b/d in October, 800,000 b/d in November and 400,000 b/d in December.
** Crude prices saw some support from supply disruptions in the US Gulf of Mexico, where up to nearly 94%, or 1.7 million b/d, of crude oil output as of Sept. 3 has been suspended due to Hurricane Ida, according to the US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. However the impact will be short-term, as analyst noted that the market will remain in deficit as OPEC+ eases its production curb.
** Data from the Energy Information Administration showed US crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels to 425.4 million barrels for the week ending Aug. 27, bringing inventory levels to roughly 6% below the five-year seasonal average.
** A supporting factor for crude oil prices over Sept. 6-10 would be the carry-over effects of supply destruction caused by Hurricane Ida. Furthermore, a weaker US dollar pressured by a bearish US jobs report may also be a supporting driver for prices.
** In the week ended Sept. 3, the international crude oil benchmarks were higher on the week. The November contract for ICE Brent futures rose 1.27% on the week to settle at $72.61/b, while the October contract for NYMEX light sweet crude was up 0.8% at $69.29/b.