Canadian crudes strengthened in the spot market on the first day of the January trading window.
Syncrude, a light oil processed from bitumen, traded at its highest level against U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate in more than a month. The trading window for January delivery of Canadian crude begins today and ends Dec. 14.
Syncrude rose $2.40 a barrel to trade at a 40-cent premium to West Texas Intermediate as of 2:07 p.m. New York time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It was highest price relative to WTI since Oct. 24.
Western Canada Select, a heavy oil grade, rose 50 cents to trade at a $29 discount to WTI.
Most of the trading for Canadian crudes takes place in a three-week “window” beginning on the first business day of the month until pipeline volume nominations are due. In December, the window is shortened because of the holiday season.
Crudes delivered on the Gulf of Mexico coast weakened as WTI gained strength against North Sea Brent, the global benchmark crude. Brent slipped 50 cents to a $21.82 premium against WTI at 2:08 p.m.
As Brent’s premium to WTI declines, alternatives such as Gulf crudes also tend to fall. Light Louisiana Sweet’s premium declined 65 cents to $20.85, Southern Green Canyon’s slipped 65 cents to $17, Mars Blend’s dropped 45 cents to $16.30.