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Traders shun Nigeria’s crude, scramble for Angola’s


PHOTO; SweetCrudeReports

Crude traders yesterday sidelined crude coming from Nigeria but showed interest in specifications from Angola.Differentials for Nigerian crude remained unchanged as a lack of bids met an overhang of unsold cargoes, while demand for Angolan remained robust, evidenced by a flurry of fixtures that have pushed shipping rates to near two-year highs.

Offers dried to a trickle, given the size of the overhang from both the October and November programmes, traders said.The most recent indications for Qua Iboe and Bonny Light for loading in November held unchanged around $1.55 a barrel above the dated Brent price, having drifted down from closer to $1.75 six weeks ago.

The November programme has struggled to find buyers, thanks in part to unfavourable shipping economics and high freight rates, traders said. Between 15 and 20 cargoes remained from the originally planned 58, Reuters quoted traders as saying.

“Last week, average VLCC spot tanker rates more than doubled to over $30,000/day, the highest level since February 2017. Fixture activity in the Middle East and West Africa increased as refiners fixed crude cargoes to be delivered at the end of refinery maintenance season, which will last through October,” investment banker, Jefferies, disclosed.

The Angolan November programme has just a handful of cargoes still up for grabs, with a week to go until the last loading programme of the year, down from around eight to nine at the end of last week.Nigerian government officials met with fund managers in New York last week on a non-deal roadshow held to update bondholders on the country’s growth plan after getting out of recession, an investor presentation seen on Saturday showed.

Iranian oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, said claims by Saudi Arabia’s crown prince over Riyadh replacing Tehran’s oil in the market were “nonsense”, the ministry’s official website reported on Monday.

The Trump administration is actively considering waivers on sanctions it will re-impose next month for countries that are reducing their imports of Iranian oil, a United States government official said on Friday.India’s MRPL late last week cancelled two tenders, each for two million barrels of sweet crude for delivery in November and December.Indonesia’s Pertamina has a crude tender expected December 3-5, which closed on Monday.

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