The 1 month old contango in Dubai oil, the benchmark grade of crude for Asia, has disappeared as a shortage of diesel in China puts a premium on the quickest deliveries of fuel. The December contract was 15 cents a barrel more expensive than January’s today, reversing a discount that’s been in place since July 2009, according to data from PVM Oil Associates, a London based broker.
A shortage of diesel in China is pushing up the premium for the fastest deliveries of oil as the nation curbs power use under a plan by Premier Wen Jiabao to cut electricity consumption per unit of gross domestic product by 20 percent in the five years through 2010. Stockpiles in the country, the world’s biggest energy user, fell for a seventh month in October, according to data from China Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals, a publication of the state owned Xinhua News Agency.
“China’s got to be short” of crude oil, said Alex Yap, an analyst at FACTS Global Energy in Singapore. “If they want to do any restocking from November to December, they’ll have to be importing a lot for the next couple of months.”
Oil imports dropped 30 percent to a 17 month low of 16.4 million metric tons in October, or about 3.9 million barrels a day, the General Administration of Customs said Nov. 22. Diesel inventories declined 11 percent to about 6.2 million tons in October, data from Xinhua News showed on Nov. 22. They were 11.5 million tons in February......Read the entire article.