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Platts American GulfCoast Select (Platts AGS)

  • What is Platts American GulfCoast Select?
  • How do we assess Platts American GulfCoast Select?
  • Evolution of Platts American GulfCoast Select
  • Platts American GulfCoast Select – Export Crude Commentary

What is Platts American GulfCoast Select?

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Platts AGS reflects the value of light sweet crude oil loading 15-45 days forward on an FOB basis from locations along the US Gulf Coast including Houston, Corpus Christi, Beaumont, Nederland, Texas City, and Port Arthur, with the most competitive location on a cargo-size normalized basis setting the price assessment.

This crude oil assessment reflects a typical cargo size of 700,000 barrels, with bids, offers and trades between 550,000 and 800,000 barrels eligible for use in the assessment but normalized to reflect the freight economics of the typical cargo size. The assessment reflects the Platts WTI Midland grade supplied directly from the Permian Basin on the BridgeTex, Longhorn, Midland-to-Echo I/II, Cactus I/II, EPIC, Gray Oak, and Permian Express pipelines with API between 40 and 44 and .2% sulfur limit, among other specifications.

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How do we assess Platts American GulfCoast Select?

Platts AGS is assessed based on market information gathered during the day by market reporting staff and bids, offers, and trades published on the Platts eWindow communication tool. The assessment follows Platts Market on Close principles with bids, offers, and trades – converted to outright values for comparison – determining value at the 1:30 Central Time close.

Evolution of Platts American GulfCoast Select

Platts AGS brings the US oil market a new benchmark assessment that reflects the value of high-quality, export-ready crude at the intersection of domestic and global demand, free of any distortion from logistics.

Platts American GulfCoast Select – Export Crude Commentary

  • Platts AGS assessed at $62.43, highest premium to WTI MEH since late March
  • Series of late April-loading VLCC's destined for China: Kpler


Platts American GulfCoast Select was assessed at $62.43/b on April 22, as the differential for the grade against the 15-45 day forward NYMEX WTI strip continued to strengthen, while against the forward Dated Brent strip, the grade was assessed weaker.


Against the 15-45 day forward NYMEX WTI strip, Platts AGS was assessed 2 cents/b stronger on the day at a $1.06/b premium to cash WTI, while against the forward Dated Brent strip, the grade was assessed 9 cents/b weaker at a $2.32/b premium.

A fall in the front-month differential for WTI MEH crude brought the assessed value for Platts AGS to a 20 cents/b premium to front-month WTI MEH, the largest premium since March 25, when Platts AGS was assessed at a 22 cents/b premium to WTI MEH.

Sources have noted that export economics play an important role for the value of WTI crude on the USGC as “the last barrel has to price for export and markets are balanced,” one market source said. The last least offer level for a May loading WTI FOB cargo out of the USGC was heard at a $2.20/b discount to July ICE Brent futures, while one brokerage source noted that the market for June loading cargoes is expected to kick-off more fully next week.

Looking at near-term flows, a series of China-destined VLCC fixtures for late April loading are slated to push up flows to the country, according to data from Kpler, a data intelligence company. While export flows to the country are not as high as those seen during 2020, particularly in May 2020, the country remains an important outlet for US crude exports.

Looking forward in the year, Platts Analytics expects US crude exports to be slightly lower in 2021 year-over year but retain a “strong presence” in the international market. Rebounding Permian production, which is already beginning to recover from lows seen in February, will push more barrels to the USGC for export, according to Platts Analytics.


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