Buyers of physical oil across the planet are experiencing an acute supply shortage and are facing some of the highest premiums for supplies they've seen in months as plunging stocks at the largest US crude storage hub send shockwaves cross markets from Asia to Europe and the Middle East.
As Bloomberg reports, US crude cargoes on offer in Asia are being offered at the costliest premium this year. The spread between Brent and Middle East oil has jumped to the highest since February while the premium for near-term US supply is close to the highest since July 2022.
Behind the soaring premiums is Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for benchmark US crude futures, which helps to set the price of oil across the Americas and beyond. As we have noted in recent weeks, inventories at the hub are now sitting just above seasonal lows last seen in 2014, and are effectively at the level known as "tank bottoms" below which inventories are for the most part unusable.