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Joe Harwell

Need help understanding post-trade-month trades

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For starters, I'm not a trader - I work in the transportation space and would like to better understanding the nuts and bolts of crude trading.

Anyone who watches the Canadian crude market may have noticed a substantial decline in the daily close price of WCS yesterday. My suspicion is that this is because the notice of shipment deadline for the main pipeline out of Western Canada was yesterday, meaning that yesterday's trades fall outside of the "trading month". Is that right?

More broadly, I'm trying to figure out how to interpret the trades that take place following nomination deadlines but before the start of the next trade month. Does that mean those trades (which I realize are going to be low in volume) are still going to result in physical crude delivery in the prompt month (August in this case), but by delivery means other than pipeline? Or is it more of a speculative bet on September, meaning that the buyer of the contract will "roll" it to September? Or is it something else entirely? I will admit that I don't know for sure whether either of the two explanations I just listed are actually possible.

Thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to read this and help a transportation near try to understand the world of crude traders. My customers thank you also! 

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