W. Africa Crude-Nigerian diffs hold, but competing grades start to cheapen

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LONDON, Feb 26 – West African differentials held steady on Tuesday as potential sellers held off from cutting their offer prices despite fairly broad-based weakening across light, sweet crude markets.

A series of upcoming tenders, including from Taiwan’s CPC, has also deterred some spot activity, leaving Nigeria’s Qua Iboe indicated unchanged at a premium of around $1.85 a barrel to the dated price.

State-run Sonangol sold out of its April cargoes of Angolan crude within days of allocating term cargoes, as refiners in China are snapping up supplies of distillate-rich crudes to replace missing volumes from Iran and Venezuela, which have fallen under U.S. sanctions.

Possibly undermining the Nigerian market was a broad decline across similar light, sweet grades in the North Sea, where Forties and Brent declined this week and the Mediterranean, where differentials for Azeri crude, a direct competitor, are now roughly at parity with Bonny Light and Qua Iboe for the first time since at least November. (Reporting by Amanda Cooper; editing by David Evans) ))

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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.

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