For the past month, an obscure corner of the oil market has been bristling with activity.
(Bloomberg) — For the past month, an obscure corner of the oil market has been bristling with activity.
Trading of options contracts on ICE gasoil, Europe’s benchmark diesel contract, climbed to the highest level since 2014 in September, according to exchange data. Volumes have so far totaled about 75,000 contracts.
Diesel futures are trading above $130 a barrel as European supply continues to be jittery after the region sanctioned Russian imports. Prices rose further Friday as Russia planned near-zero exports following a ban to overseas buyers that’s designed to lower domestic prices.
Those restrictions are compounding supply fears in a market where OPEC+ producers have cut the flow of diesel-rich crudes and a spate of refinery issues emerged over the summer.
The volatility has boosted options-market activity. The options are used by consumers such as airlines to hedge their fuel bills, as well as by physical diesel traders.
The diesel options market is a small part of the wider oil options universe. The 75,000 contracts traded so far this month compares with more than 3 million contracts for Brent crude.
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