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The question is if the proposed crude oil contract would rival Brent and WTI. The key obstacle could be the OPEC or Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

23 Nov 2012

Commodity Online
The Wall Street Journal has reported that China may soon come out with crude oil futures contract in Shanghai Futures Exchange where Qualified Foreign Institutional Investors can invest and carryout trade using Dollars. The domestic investors meanwhile can invest in Yuan currency.

The exchange however declined to comment.

"It's clear that China is looking at pricing its oil in a different way," said Christopher Fix, chief executive officer of Dubai Mercantile Exchange to Wall Street Journal. "They're hopeful that they can influence the global price of crude."

China is the second biggest guzzler of crude oil in the planet. However, the country has little say over determining crude prices.

Global crude oil prices currently track WTI prices or West Texas Intermediate crude prices traded on the NYMEX. Crude on the ICE Futures Exchange—Brent crude oil—is the also an international benchmark.

But the question is if the proposed crude oil contract would rival Brent and WTI. The key obstacle could be the OPEC or Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

"China's interest is in having the cheapest price of oil, but a consumer-determined price of a commodity may not be in the best interest of the producer," said a director at the Securities & Futures Research Institute, under Beijing Technology and Business University.

For instance, the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) has left no stone unturned to persuade producers like Saudi Arabia to adopt its Oman contract for benchmark. But this has not materialized.

The volumes traded in DME in crude oil is still a fraction of trades on Nymex WTI or ICE Brent.


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