W. Africa Crude-Scarcer Angolan cargoes sell fast, Nigeria selling prices lower

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LONDON, April 18 – Angolan crude was already selling rapidly and at sky-high prices after the preliminary loading programme for June showed the lowest volumes in over a decade. Meanwhile new Nigerian official selling prices showed markdowns from relatively high levels the month before which buyers were loath to meet.

ANGOLA
* Angolan crude oil exports are set to plunge to 38 cargoes due to a shutdown for maintenance at the Saturno field during June and issues affecting the Girassol stream.

* State oil company Sonangol, which holds 15 of the June cargoes, was said to have almost sold out its spot cargoes, in an extremely quick turnaround relative to previous months.

* Demand for the scarcer supply sent differentials far higher, as U.S. sanctions on comparable Iranian and Venezuelan crudes added to the relative scarcity of Angolan to widen a gap in the market for heavy sweet crude.

* Sonangol’s three cargoes of Dalia were heard to have sold out at record highs around a $2 premium compared with dated Brent and June’s sole cargo of Gimboa for around the same.

* The state oil company’s only remaining cargo was of Saturno, which is being indicated at $1.80.

NIGERIA
* Nigeria released its official selling prices for May, showing a decrease for major grades Bonny Light BFO-BON and Qua Iboe BFO-QUA, Forcados BFO-FOC and Escravos by around 20 to 25 cents compared with April.

* Buyers had been largely reluctant to pick up cargoes of May loading cargoes offered at and above a premium of $2 compared to dated Brent.

* One trader said backwardation and low refining margins had reduced the appeal of Nigerian crude for European buyers.

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TENDERS
* Total has issued a sell tender for at least two cargoes of Angolan crude, instead of making offers to buy due to the unusually high prices.

* Turkey’s Tupras has issued a tender for three cargoes of Nigerian for loading between May 25 and June 10 but had bought at least one, a cargo of Nigerian Jones Creek.

* Uruguay’s ANCAP has issued a buy tender for July 1-6 arrival.

RELATED NEWS
* China appears to have kept the flow of crude into strategic and commercial storage facilities at high levels in the first quarter, even as the price of oil climbed.

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* Spain’s Repsol has suspended its swaps of refined products for crude with Venezuela’s state-run oil company PDVSA , people familiar with the matter said, as U.S. officials weigh penalties for foreign firms doing business with Venezuela.

* Economic disruption from uneven currency trading in Nigeria and continued electricity shortages in South Africa are set to hold back overall growth across sub-Saharan Africa this year, a Reuters poll of economists found on Thursday. (Reporting by Noah Browning Editing by David Holmes) ))

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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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