Skip to comments.An Oil-Market Shift Means Trouble for CME
Posted on 02/14/2013 2:21:22 PM PST by ExxonPatrolUs
London is about to cement its place as the capital of oil trading, knocking New York off the perch for the first time. That spells trouble for a company in Chicago, adding to the challenges faced by CME Group Inc. ( CME ) at a time of rising competition and a proposed megamerger between two of its largest rivals. Intercontinental Exchange Inc. ( ICE ), a one-time upstart that has grown aggressively in recent years, on Dec. 20 announced a deal to buy NYSE Euronext ( NYX ) for $8.2 billion. In April, monthly trading volume in West Texas Intermediate crude-oil futures traded on CME's New York Mercantile Exchange was overtaken by the Brent oil futures offered by ICE. Now, analysts believe, open interest on the Brent contract--a closely-watched measure of trading activity and market liquidity--is set to overtake WTI, based on the recent trajectory of market activity. Being home to the most-traded oil contract is important to exchanges like CME and ICE because traders gravitate to the most-liquid markets. Capturing the crude crown would be a boost for London, whose commodity-trading profile has increasingly come under threat from traders shifting to Geneva, partly for tax reasons. The success of ICE in the oil-futures market is viewed as a sign of the threat it poses to CME overseas. ICE has been buoyed by the prospect of buying NYSE and its prized London-based Liffe derivatives unit, just as CME prepares its own long-awaited push into Europe
(Excerpt) Read more at nasdaq.com ...
US Energy Agency Adopts Brent, Drops US Crude
7 Dec 2012
The U.S. government’s energy agency has adopted North Sea Brent crude as its benchmark for oil forecasts, dropping its domestic benchmark, saying it no longer reflects the price paid for oil by U.S. refineries.
The Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its annual energy outlook it was abandoning West Texas Intermediate (WTI), traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange , and switching to Brent on the Inter Continental Exchange (ICE).
The move by the U.S. Department of Energy’s energy forecaster reflects a migration of large parts of the oil market to Brent and away from WTI over the last year.
“This change was made to better reflect the price refineries pay for imported light, sweet crude oil and takes into account the divergence of WTI prices from those of globally traded benchmark crudes such as Brent,” the EIA outlook said.
The agency said WTI prices had “diverged from other benchmark crude prices because of insufficient pipeline capacity to move crude oil to and from Cushing, Oklahoma”, the location at which WTI prices are quoted.
The real reason for the division is domestic US producers cannot legally sell their crude outside the USA, so the refiners have a captive market, and screw US royalty owners while also screwing the consumer.
If the market was allowed to be actually free, this would not happen and the overall price would go down.
And I wonder when this Cushing thing will finally change and bring still yet another change.
Trading futures is nothing but a bet on supply is it? It keeps prices in turmoil doesn’t it? It is a benefit for the few borne by the many isn’t it? Oil is not seasonal like agriculture commodities, it is not subject to the same uncertainties of weather and crop failure is it? What purpose does it serve but to serve the exchange and provide just another casino?
Since the first trial trades in 1985, designed to keep NYMEX alive after the demise of their primary trade in Maine Potatoes, the price frequency has increased and the price amplitude has swung wildly. Every blip in the world triggers another perception in oil supply threat and the world reels in response as a consequence.
Hooray for arbitrage and 28 year old gamblers everywhere!
Doesn't appear the people in Chicago are worried
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