China’s African crude demand subdued, sellers stay on sidelines

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LONDON, Dec 28 (Reuters) – Spot activity was subdued due to the Christmas holiday period, particularly from Chinese refiners, while fresh offers were scarce.

* Traders said that Chinese buying had peaked during the previous two loading programmes – December and January – to prepare for the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran and ahead of the Chinese New Year in February.

* Asian refinery maintenance is due to start in March and peak later in the spring, which will put a dampener on demand going forward.

* Angola’s state oil firm Sonangol continued to offer two cargoes of Dalia at dated Brent minus 30 cents a barrel loading Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 23-24.

* Nigerian oil marketing firm MRS issued a sell tender for a cargo of Forcados loading Feb. 14-15 and a cargo of Amenam loading Feb. 10-11. The tender closes on Jan. 31.

* Imports of Iranian crude oil by major buyers in Asia hit their lowest in more than five years in November as U.S. sanctions on Iran’s oil exports took effect last month, government and ship-tracking data showed. (Reporting by Julia Payne; editing by Susan Fenton) ))

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.