West African crude differentials were under downward pressure on Monday amid ample supply and more signs of slow buying from China, the key consumer of medium and heavy grades from the region.
According to Reuters, State oil company Sonangol had sold one of the three Dalia cargoes it was offering. Sources said it was likely purchased by Shell, but this could not be directly confirmed.
It stated that sources said Shell was re-offering the cargo to certain buyers.
Sonangol had been offering Dalia at $1.20 per barrel below dated Brent, and still held two cargoes.
It was also offering one Sangos cargo at minus 70 cents and one Saturno at minus $1.05.
China’s Unipec was offering a total of five cargoes, most of them Angolan. It lowered its offer level for Plutonio to dated Brent minus 30 cents, some 60 cents lower than its initial offer level.
It had also showed Saxi at flat to dated Brent.
With around 15 Angolan cargoes yet to trade, seven Congolese Djeno and cargoes of Ghana’s Jubilee, there was ample availability of heavy and medium oil.
ExxonMobil issued the delayed Usan programme for May, including two 1 million barrel cargoes.
Revised loading plans for Forcados were also distributed, reflecting delays caused by a temporary closure of the Trans Forcados Pipeline.
Spot trading was otherwise limited, though some April cargoes yet to trade as well as the bulk of the May programme.
Offers for Qua Iboe, which has maintenance work in early May that limited loadings, had risen. But other differentials were shaky, traders said.
India’s IOC was running a tender to buy oil, including West African grades, loading in June and July.
The tender also included the option for North Sea and U.S. grades, with what a trader said were some 1,800 potential combinations. It closes on April 13.
Indian refiner MRPL was also running a tender to buy 600,000 barrels for June 1-15 loading. It closes on April 10-12