A spokesperson for Intercontinental Exchange Incorporated (ICE) has proposed position limit of 6,000 lot, or 6mb of oil that investors can hold in 2017 when trading Dubai oil-futures contract, reported Reuters.
ICE has proposed a position will apply from the first to the final trading day of the expiry month. The proposed measure is aimed at securing the reliability of the contract, as trade volumes and open interest for the Asian crude oil benchmark have grown since 2012. Yet, market participants can apply to ICE for exemption from the limit if they have a commercial rationale to hold a larger position, according The Wall Street Journal.
Trading on ICE Dubai 1st Line, the benchmark for Middle Eastern oil, has grown rapidly in recent years, particularly with activity from Asia. It is the third most traded oil-futures benchmark behind ICE Futures Europe’s Brent and CME Group Inc.’s WTI. In August state-owned Chinese companies took up to 37mb , or around 90% of the crude available in the Dubai market, according to data from energy information provider Platts.
Platts has since added two grades of oil to the basket it uses to calculate the Dubai benchmark. Market participants say the larger volume of oil available to calculate the benchmark, along with ICE’s move to introduce position limits, will make it less likely any player could become particularly dominant.