Murban crude was little changed near the highest in almost two months as demand from refiners for middle-distillate rich grades supported buying.
Murban for January loading was at a premium of 33 cents a barrel over its official selling price, down 2 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It closed last week at the highest since Sept. 26. Qatar Marine for January remained at a premium of 48 cents a barrel over the official price, Bloomberg data showed.
Demand for crude blends such as Murban, which yield more middle distillates including gasoil and kerosene than heavier crudes, may be rising after processing margins climbed. Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude, a measure of profitability, was at $19.87 a barrel today, up from $17.97 a month ago, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd, a London-based brokerage.
“Strong kerosene demand over the winter should keep crudes rich in middle distillates well supported over the coming period,” JBC Energy GmbH, a Vienna-based consultant, said in its weekly Asian report.
Oman crude for immediate shipment fell $1.60, or 1.5 percent, to $107.82 a barrel, Bloomberg data showed. Dubai for loading in January dropped 1.5 percent to $107.03. Murban crude declined 1.5 percent to $111.95 a barrel.
Oman futures for January delivery fell 70 cents to $107.35 a barrel on the Dubai Mercantile Exchange at 5:51 p.m. local time with 1,100 contracts traded. The settlement price was $107.91 at 12:30 p.m. in Dubai.
The January Brent-Dubai exchange for swaps, which measures the European benchmark contract against the Persian Gulf grade, widened 18 cents to $3.03 a barrel, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd. The exchange for swaps for February dropped 18 cents to $3.25.
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