The Dubai Mercantile Exchange (DME) announced today that a new record total open interest of 19,867 was achieved in its flagship DME Oman Crude Oil Futures Contract (DME Oman) in February 2010. The DME also achieved a new record for physical delivery of 13.4 million barrels for delivery in April 2010, surpassing the previous high of 11.6 million barrels set in September 2009.
Open interest in DME Oman has been increasing steadily, the latest figure exceeding the previous open interest record in July 2009. The rise in open interest is a leading indicator of the market's continuing confidence in DME Oman as a transparent and effective mechanism for pricing Middle East sour crude oil.
DME Oman is the largest physically delivered crude oil futures contract in the world with an average of nine million barrels per month delivered through the Exchange in 2009. Since its launch in June 2007, more than 235 million barrels of Oman crude have been delivered through the DME.
The DME recently reported a 69% year-on-year increase in trading volumes for 2009 with average daily volumes approaching 3,000 lots in the fourth quarter of the year and continuing with a similar trend in the first two months of 2010.
Ahmad Sharaf, Chairman of the DME, commented: "Today's announcement represents further evidence that DME Oman provides the most reliable risk management and price discovery tool for participants in the rapidly growing East of Suez markets. DME Oman has demonstrated its strong and effective link to the underlying Oman crude physical market since inception and we continue to build on this for the benefit of our customers and stakeholders alike."
Thomas Leaver, Chief Executive Officer of the DME, added: "The DME has made a strong start to 2010. Record average daily volumes were achieved in January followed by increasing levels of open interest and seamless physical delivery operations. We are very encouraged by these figures and will continue to work closely with a wide range of market participants as the DME Oman steadily builds liquidity."
The DME was launched in June 2007 with the goal of bringing fair and transparent price discovery and efficient risk management to East of Suez, the world's fastest growing commodities market and already the largest crude oil supply/demand corridor in the world. Today, DME Oman is the explicit and sole benchmark for Oman and Dubai crude oil Official Selling Prices, the historically established markers for Middle East crude oil exports to Asia.