Dubai crude futures soften slightly as activity tapers off

Singapore —
The sour crude market softened slightly in mid-morning trade in Asia Sept. 24 as activity continues to taper off after requirements for the month were largely covered last week.

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“The market is definitely a lot slower as all the action was last week; this market cannot be supportive,” a Singapore-based sour crude trader said.

The contango timespreads for benchmark Dubai crude futures widened slightly amid thin demand.

At 11 am Singapore time (0300 GMT), the October/November timespread was pegged at a contango of 18 cents/b, widening 3 cents/b from the previous Asian close.

The November/December timespread was pegged at a contango of 23 cents/b, widening 2 cents/b over the same period, S&P Global Platts data showed.

“This month has concluded early. The market is weak in terms of demand so levels are coming down,” another sour crude trader said.

Spot market premiums for key grades like Murban and Upper Zakum have softened slightly compared to last week as bearish fundamentals lingered.

Meanwhile, the prompt-month Brent/Dubai Exchange of Futures for Swaps was rangebound in negative territory. The November EFS was pegged at minus 15 cents/b at 0300 GMT, widening 2 cents/b from the previous Asian close.

Crude futures were overall under pressure in mid-morning trade in Asia Sept. 24 as global economic recovery remained at risk from a resurgence in COVID-19 infections in several countries.