Price assessment

Price assessment is the determination of the prevailing market price for a crude oil or refined product at a point in time.

The most important price assessments are for the spot market for crude oil and products, as these are the best indicators of overall market conditions and are used as the benchmarks for many crude and product transactions.

Price assessment is performed by a number of price assessment agencies. The most important being:

  • Platts - Assesses prices for spot trades of most major crude and product grades around the world
  • Argus - Assesses prices for spot trades of most major crude and product grades around the world
  • OPIS - primarily assesses prices for rack (wholesale) and retail product markets

These agencies assess and publish prices on a daily basis based on observed transactions and/or player postings. Each has its own method for collecting transaction data, judging which transactions to include, adjusting for differences (e.g., quality, location, deal size), and reporting prices to the market.

The Refinery Reference Desk includes content derived from our industry experts as well as from public data sources such as company websites. Nothing herein is intended to serve as investment advice. This material is based on information that we believe to be reliable and adequately comprehensive, but we do not represent that such information is in all respects accurate or complete. McKinsey Energy Insights does not accept any liability for any losses resulting from use of the content.

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