US exported close to 1.4 million tons of crude to Asia in the first two months of 2017. This arbitrage opportunity came in timely for US producers to offload their surplus crude to Asian refiners looking to meet their supply shortfall from OPEC production cuts. At Brent-WTI of above US$2.0/bbl, WTI competes favourably with Dubai's refining margins for Asia, making it an attractive substitute for Middle East crudes. This arbitrage window will narrow from Q2 2017 onwards with the shift in US and Asia's crude market fundamentals, where WTI loses its shine against Middle East and African crudes due to price inflation.
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Insight | Mar 2017
US crude arbitrage to Asia to close soon
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