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APPEC: China's INE to optimize deliverable crude grades for its futures contract

Singapore — International Energy Exchange, the host of China's crude oil futures contract, may change its deliverable crude streams to meet market needs, an executive said Tuesday.

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"We will pull out some of the less liquid crude grades from the delivery basket, and replace with popular ones," Lu Feng, executive vice president of Shanghai Futures Exchange said at APPEC in Singapore. SHFE is the parent company of INE.

Currently, seven crudes can be delivered against the futures contract -- Dubai, Upper Zakum, Oman, Qatar Marine, Masila, Basrah Light and Shengli.

Among the crude grades, Basrah Light and Oman were the top grades imported by China in 2018, at about 32 million barrels and 27 million barrels, respectively, according to Lu's presentation.

Seaborne EPSO Blend from Russia and Brazilian Lula followed with import volumes of about 20 million barrels and 15 million barrels, respectively.

Meanwhile, Djeno and Murban also had considerable inflow volume at about 7.5 million barrels and almost 2 million barrels, Lu's slides showed.

INE did not have a timetable for the adjustment. "We will study the liquidity first and consult participants before announcing any adjustment," Lu said.

INE's futures contract for medium sour crude was launched on March 26, 2018.

It was China's first contract allowed international investors to participate, which is priced in yuan and allows physical delivery in China's bonded zones.

-- Oceana Zhou, oceana.zhou@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Daniel Lalor, daniel.lalor@spglobal.com