Canada crude - Traders expecting volatile start to new month

Thu Jun 27, 2013 4:23pm EDT
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* August WCS last at $14.00 per barrel below WTI

* August synthetic last trading at $3 per barrel above WTI

* Traders say volumes very thin after Alberta floods

By Nia Williams

CALGARY, Alberta, June 27 (Reuters) - Canadian oil traders braced for a wild ride next week as the aftermath of two major pipeline closures as well as the cleanup from record floods in southern Alberta are likely to feed volatility when a new trading window opens at the start of July.

News that the 307,000 barrel per day Trans Mountain pipeline had been shut down for the second time in two weeks weighed on demand for heavy crude. Meanwhile the extended closure of a smaller line in northern Alberta was forcing producers to shut in output, supporting synthetic prices.

Trading activity was thin, however, with dealers awaiting the reopening of the monthly trading "window", a roughly three-week period at the start of each month during which traders buy and sell crude and can nominate shipments on pipelines.

Also, some traders were still displaced by the record flooding that hit Calgary this week.

"The market is dead," one Calgary-based crude trader said. "Most people are out of the office."   Continued...