LONDON, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Chinese loadings of West African crude oil are set to accelerate over the course of October, hitting their highest since April, according to a Reuters survey
of shipping fixtures and traders on Wednesday.
A total of 36 million-barrel cargoes are expected to load this month for destinations in China, a key buyer of West African oil that had taken a breather from its usual pace in
October loadings for China are now planned at 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd), up from September loadings that were an eight-month low of 855,000 bpd. The bulk of the cargoes, as
usual, will come from Angola, though the bookings also include Ghana’s Jubilee and Ceiba from Equatorial Guinea.
“October is the end of peak refinery turnarounds in China and runs are rising,” said Michal Meidan, Asia analyst with Energy Aspects, adding there were also more tanks for the
country’s strategic petroleum reserve due to come into operation.
China’s bookings also slowed previously due to flooding in July that impacted some Chinese refinery operations, and left crude cargoes unconsumed, denting the need for further imports.
Their increased pace in October means West Africa’s crude oil exports sailing east will hold at roughly 1.9 million bpd, with slower buying from India on a bpd basis, and Indonesia
taking four cargoes, down from six. Fewer loadings also surfaced from trade houses moving cargoes to Singapore or simply selling to the best buyer available, which a string did for September loading.
Among the 62 cargoes sailing east in October is the first loading of Qua Iboe since July, which is sailing east aboard the South Sea that loaded on Oct. 4.
COUNTRY October BPD ‘000s September BPD ‘000s
CHINA 36 1,103 27 855
INDIA 17 521 17 538
INDONESIA 4 123 6 190
TAIWAN 2 61 2 63
JAPAN 0 0 0 0
S. KOREA 0 0 1 32
OTHERS 3 92 7 222
TOTAL 62 1,900 60 1,900
(Reporting by Libby George; Editing by Mark Potter)