West Africa Crude: Differentials under pressure as excess builds

crude oil prices

Demand sagged as many buyers pressed for lower differentials to dated Brent in an oversupplied market. More than three dozen cargoes from across West Africa were still available for sale from the April loading plans, with May export schedules due later in the week.


* Despite offers from South African storage and slow buying interest, majors such as ExxonMobil were offering Qua Iboe at differentials as high as $1.20 per barrel.

* There were an estimated 30 cargoes still available, with light grades such as Akpo and Agbami under particular pressure. Traders said the differentials to both of these were likely to be negative now.

* Further loading delays of one to two additional days plagued Qua Iboe, after the programmes had been reissued several times.

* No cargoes of Bonga were expected to load in March due to field maintenance. Those selling from the April plan were asking prices of around dated Brent plus $1.30.


* Roughly a dozen Angolan cargoes remained from the April export plan.

* Offers of Kissanje had fallen to discounts to dated Brent, while Dalia was offered at flat to a 10 cent discount to dated Brent.

* Chief buyer, China’s Unipec, continued to offer some of its cargoes privately as well.


* India’s IOC was running a tender for crude loading May 12-22. The full tender closes on March 16.

* India’s HPCL was also running a tender for one to two million barrels loading May 1-15. It closes on March 19.