Nakazawa Aims To Wipe Out Asian Oil Price Differential

Tokyo Commodity Exchange Chairman Tadayoshi Nakazawa aims to succeed where New York and London rivals have failed: Make oil trading in Singapore more transparent so that Asia can reduce its energy costs.

The region, which buys a third of the world's oil, does not have a major oil futures market where companies can hedge against price fluctuations. Instead, traders in Singapore, Asia's biggest oil trading center, report daily trades to McGraw Hill's Platts news service that set benchmark prices in Asia's half billion dollar a day oil market.

Nakazawa, 70, says the proposed dollar denominated futures contract will trade on the Singapore Exchange in September and allow oil producers and refiners, not traders, to set the price of each barrel of oil sold in Asia.

“The price of crude oil in Asia is $1-$2 higher than in Europe because there's no futures exchange,” Nakazawa said in an interview. This premium should disappear once there is transparent pricing in Asia, he said.

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