Nigerian oil steady on Indian demand, European margins

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Differentials for Nigerian oil were supported by steady Asian demand and rising European gasoline margins.

Nigerian exports to India finished June at about 500,000 bpd, according to Refinitiv data, the highest since December.

The high levels compensate for Iranian and Venezuelan crude kept off the market by U.S. sanctions, though the uptick of U.S. crude into India has outpaced Water Accommodated Fractions (WAF) and other grades.

According to Dutch consultancy Insights Global, Gasoline stocks in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage hub rose by 6% in the week, as traders anticipate greater U.S. demand amid the PES refinery shutdown.

An unexpected fall in U.S. gasoline stocks reported this week is also putting Nigerian oil in higher demand in Europe even as Nigerian exports to the U.S. hit a five-week low.

The positive signs have put price offerings for major grades Bonny Light and Qua Iboe well above a premium of $2.50 above dated Brent.

Meanwhile, Angolan exports to China finished the month at around 1.1 million bpd, the highest since January, before sagging margins and freight costs led to July’s more modest flows.

Prices are steady and low for August loading cargoes after mid-July price offerings were deemed to high by Chinese buyers, leading to the first overhang of 2019.

Around 1-2 cargoes of Angola’s planned 45 cargoes for August were selling per day, as interest in heavier crude remains generally high despite lacklustre Asian demand.

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Amaka E. Nliam