Middle East crude benchmarks lower on week, gains versus Brent

5 Nov 2021

Quantum Commodity Intelligence - Middle East crude oil prices retreated over the week ending 5 November, as the medium sour Dubai crude benchmark ended the week below $80/b for the first time in nearly a month.

Asia largely followed the global trend of softer oil prices over the week, although outperformed Brent, particularly the light sweet Murban grade as refiners stock up on gasoline-rich grades.  

Front-month Dubai cash for January delivery was assessed by Quantum Friday at $79.45/b (1630 Singapore time), down from $81.58/b the prior Friday, or a fall of 2.6%.

Over the same period, ICE Brent futures for January at the Asia close were trading $81.10/b, down $2.71/b, as the Middle East Dubai benchmark gained versus its North Sea counterpart.

The Brent/Dubai cash spread for January was around $1.65/b, while the January EFS strengthened to +$5/b, although off from the eight-year highs earlier in the week.

DME Oman futures for January settled at $79.75/b at the Asia close, compared to last Friday’s settle of $81.81/b, while the January Brent/DME Oman spread was at +$1.35/b.

Meanwhile, light sweet Murban for January trading on Abu Dhabi’s IFAD exchange settled at $81.31/b versus $82.85b last week, as the light sweet grade gained over $1/b versus Brent and around $0.50/b against Dubai.

Looking ahead to next week, Saudi Aramco will release its OSPs for December either Sunday or Monday, with hikes expected for its light crudes but less certainty over heavier barrels, given the sharp retreat in fuel oil cracks.