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Dec. 23 (Bloomberg) -- The premiums for Middle East crude for sale to Asia fell against benchmark prices as refining profits weakened.
Murban, produced in Abu Dhabi, fell 3 cents a barrel to 11 cents below its official selling price today, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the lowest since August. The grade was at a 3 cent premium on Dec. 16. Qatar Land slid 3 cents to a discount of 23 cents a barrel to the official price, the deepest since Sept. 1, the data show.
The value of crude such as Murban, which has a high yield of middle distillates including gasoil and kerosene, has been falling as processing profits have declined.
Gasoil’s premium to Asian marker Dubai crude is set to narrow for the fifth week in six. This crack spread rose 31 cents to $18 a barrel on Friday, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based broker. That compares to $20.95 on Nov. 16, the highest in the last six months.
The January Dubai swaps premium to March narrowed 3 cents to $1.05 a barrel, according to data from PVM. The difference was at $2.65 on Dec. 6. This market situation known as backwardation suggests demand is greater for immediate shipments. A decline in the level shows that the need for cargoes has lessened.
Oman crude fell 0.4 percent to $107.25 a barrel, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Dubai dropped 0.4 percent to $106. Murban crude was down 0.4 percent to $111.24.
Oman futures for February delivery increased 45 cents to $107.85 a barrel on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange at 4:51 p.m. Singapore time with 1,483 contracts traded. The settlement price was $107.88 at 12:30 p.m. in Dubai.
The February Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps, which measures the European benchmark contract against the Persian Gulf grade, narrowed by 12 cents cents to $3.85 a barrel, according to data from PVM. The exchange for swaps for March fell 5 cents to $3.48.
--Editors: Christian Schmollinger, John Chacko
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