Wednesday , 25 April 2018

W. Africa Crude-Nigerian sales stall as cheap alternatives, maintenance weigh

Nigerian crude looked set for a sizeable overhang on Tuesday with more than half the April programme still available, with the May schedules due out within the next week.

According to Reuters, demand has been weak as refinery maintenance in both Europe and Asia is set to peak in May.

April loading Angolan has sold better than Nigerian with less than 10 cargoes left.

It stated that the differentials for Russian Urals have slumped in the last few weeks prompting European refiners to favour the medium, sour grade instead of expensive west African crude, a trader said.

The agency stated that another trader said differentials for Nigerian crude would have to correct sharply lower to elicit interest.

It disclosed that the Urals price in Northwest Europe hit its lowest level since September 2016 last week while the price in the Mediterranean fell to its lowest since 2014.

Competing light grades in the Mediterranean such as Saharan Blend and CPC Blend have also been under pressure, falling to their lowest levels since October.

Some 35-40 cargoes were still available from the April programme with May schedules due out as soon as Friday.

Chevron was offering a cargo of Escravos at dated Brent plus $2 a barrel and a cargo of Agbami at dated Brent plus 75 cents a barrel.

Shell was showing Bonny Light at dated Brent plus $2.10 a barrel, Bonga at dated Brent plus $2.00 and Forcados at dated Brent plus $2.15.

Total was offering Amenam at dated Brent plus 90 cents, Ghanian TEN at dated Brent plus 50 cents and Akpo at dated Brent plus 70 cents.

Angola’s state oil company Sonangol lowered its offer for its last end-April Dalia cargo by 20 cents to dated Brent minus 90 cents a barrel.

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