DME approves Saudi crude price marker move
Dubai, November 2, 2009
The Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) welcomes a move by Saudi Arabia to drop a US light sweet crude oil benchmark as the basis for pricing its sales into the US, the DME said in statement on Monday.
On Wednesday, Saudi Aramco, the state oil company of the world's top crude exporter said that effective from January, all its crude sales into the United States will be priced off the Argus sour crude index.
Aramco had previous used West Texas Intermediate (WTI) prices published by Platts, a unit of McGraw Hill as its price market.
"This is a positive development as it appears to be a more representative benchmark for customers and highlights the benefits of responding to evolving market conditions," the DME said.
The DME launched its Oman futures contract in June 2007 in an attempt to establish a new benchmark price for the 12 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude exported from the Middle East to Asia daily.
The DME hit a record average daily volume of 2,624 contracts during the month of October for the Oman crude contract, the DME said.
The Oman contract has survived longer than other attempts to establish a benchmark for high sulphur, or sour, Middle East crude but volumes remain thin.
Small independent producers Oman and Dubai have a stake in the exchange and use it to price their oil, making the Oman contract the first to have the official backing of Middle East oil producers. – Reuters