CME to list new Saudi benchmark

Two days after Saudi Arabia announced it was moving away from the WTI crude oil contract as a benchmark for its oil exports, CME Group announced that it was launching trading and clearing services for cash-settled swap futures on the Argus Sour Crude Index (ASCI), which is the new benchmark for Saudi oil. The contract is scheduled to launch Nov. 23 on the Nymex trading floor and will be cleared through CME Clearport.

The ASCI tracks the price in the physical market of a basket of US Gulf Coast crude oils, including Mars, Poseidon and Southern Green Canyon, which are priced at a differential to the NYMEX Light Sweet Crude Oil (WTI) according to a CME Group release.

CME also plans on launching a physically delivered U.S Gulf Coast Sour Crude Oil futures contract, which will be listed on CME Globex and CME ClearPort by the end of January 2010.

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