Jan Brent-Dubai EFS widens, India issues tender for West African crudes
India began issuing spot tenders seeking West African and Middle East crudes while the January Exchange of Futures for Swaps spread widened further at Singapore opening Nov. 10.
At 11 am in Singapore (0300 GMT), the January Brent/Dubai EFS was pegged at $5.28/b, up 11 cents/b from the Asia close Nov. 9, S&P Global Platts data showed.
The EFS is a key measure of the relative strength of Brent-linked crudes versus Dubai-linked ones, and a wider EFS makes Brent-linked regional crude grades less economically attractive.
Indian Oil Corp. issued two tenders seeking a mix of sweet and sour crude grades loading in December and January.
The refiner is seeking a variety of West African crude grades while also eying Middle East grades such as Iraqi Basrah crude, Oman crude and Abu Dhabi’s Upper Zakum crude.
Despite the wide Brent/Dubai spread, IOC is likely to seek West African crude as a baseload requirement, traders said.
“Maybe why they can still buy that because refinery needs it,” a trader with a north Asian refinery said, referring to the wide list of West African grades listed in the spot tender.
Meanwhile, some US and North Sea grades were also sold to South Korean buyers for arrival in January and February 2022, sources said.
Cargoes of US grades like WTI Midland, Eagle Ford and Mars crude were sold to South Korean refiners, however, the information could not be verified.
Asian refiners may keep an eye on cheap arbitrage barrels if prices of Middle East crude grades continue to turn expensive, a trader in Singapore said.
In other news, Qatar Energy issued its official selling prices for December.
The producer hiked the December OSP differentials of its Marine and Land crude oil grades by 90 cents/b and $1.20/b, respectively, from November, according to a notice on its website Nov. 10.
Intermonth spreads also widened sharply at the Asia opening Nov. 10.
The December/January spread was pegged at $1.48/b, wider by 17 cents/b from the Asian close Nov. 9, Platts data showed.
The January/February spread was pegged at $1.04/b, also widening 17 cents/b from the previous day’s close.