Middle East benchmarks firmer on week, register steep gains versus Brent

12 Nov 2021

Quantum Commodity Intelligence - Middle East crude oil prices strengthened by around 2.5% during the week ending November 12, comfortably outpacing the Brent market with robust Asian demand heading into the crunch winter season.

Front-month Dubai cash for January delivery was assessed by Quantum Friday at $81.55/b (1630 Singapore time), up from $79.45/b on the prior Friday, or a gain of 2.6%.

The week started on a firm footing following the previous week’s OPEC+ decision to stay on the current cautious path of monthly increments of 400,000 bpd, followed by the steep hike to Saudi OSPs, although retreated from the highs in the latter part of the week on broader macroeconomic concerns.

The Brent/Dubai cash spread for January was at a five-month low of $0.81/b, while the January EFS was slightly weaker at around +$4.70/b.

DME Oman futures for January settled at $81.79/b at the Asia close, compared to last Friday’s settle of $79.75/b, while the January Brent/DME Oman spread narrowed by around $0.80/b to +$0.57/b.

Meanwhile, light sweet Murban for January trading on Abu Dhabi’s IFAD exchange settled at $83.26/b versus $81.31/b last week, as the grade moved to a premium of $0.90/b versus Brent, the highest since the contract was launched in April.

Looking ahead to next week, the January trading cycle is likely to step up with traders looking to gauge China’s appetite in the spot market.