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Dubai futures contango narrows as sour crude activity gathers pace

Singapore — The contango in benchmark Dubai crude futures had narrowed at midday in Asia trade Sept. 16 from the previous session amid an uptick in activity in the sour crude market.

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At 12 pm Singapore time (0400 GMT), the October/November timespread was pegged at a contango of 33 cents/b, up 6 cents/b from the Asian close on Sept. 15, S&P Global Platts data showed. The November/December timespread was pegged at a contango of 37 cents/b, also up 6 cents/b over the same period.

The Dubai market structure has firmed after stronger pre-tender prices were heard traded for Al-Shaheen crude.

November-loading Al-Shaheen was heard to have changed hands at discounts of 40-50 cents/b to Platts Dubai assessment on an FOB basis, though further details could not immediately be confirmed. QPSPP's November-loading tender closed Sept. 15 with validity until Sept. 16, market sources said.

Last month, QPSPP offered two 500,000-barrel Al-Shaheen cargoes for loading in October, selling at discounts of 58 cents/b and 64 cents/b to Platts front month Dubai, FOB.

Other tenders have also emerged in the market. Taiwan's CPC is seeking sour crude for November loading in a tender that closes Sept. 16 with validity until Sept. 18, according to the company's website.

Meanwhile, the prompt-month Brent/Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps spread has steadied in negative territory. The November EFS was pegged at minus 19 cents/b at midday Sept. 16, unchanged from the Asian close Sept. 15, Platts data showed.