Sweet and sour

The Dubai Mercantile Exchange has launched a Middle East-based sour crude oil benchmark, but it has been a long wait, given the importance of oil in the region. Pamela Tang reports


The lack of a sour crude benchmark in the Middle East has left a gaping hole in the futures landscape, one unfilled by established oil prices such as West Texas Intermediate in the US and Brent in Europe. These reflect the value of refined, sweet crude, but provide an imperfect hedge for the Middle East's unrefined, sour crudes.

But the consensus in the Middle East is that the time is right for such a benchmark, and the Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) - set up this year - will launch an Oman

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