W. Africa Crude-Differentials rise broadly but demand still uncertain


LONDON, May 20 – Prices for both Nigerian and Angolan crude oil continued their steady climb in recent days on
hopes of recovery in global fuel consumption but lacklustre
European refining margins and steady differentials elsewhere
added some uncertainty.

* A cargo of Angolan Girassol last offered for dated Brent
$2.50 was sold, although there was no further information.
* Nigerian Bonny Light and Qua Iboe continued to be offered
for around dated Brent plus $2 a barrel, though traders
expressed scepticism whether demand for light sweet crude had
recovered enough to justify the prices.
* A sharp rise in U.S. gasoline inventories, closures to
many refineries and only impartial easing to lockdowns in some
regions clouded the outlook for gasoline.
* Traders pointed to steady and even slightly decreasing
offers for competing Mediterranean oil grades as a sign that
physical oil may not soon recover to pre-virus prices.
* Chinese buying appetite was nearly recovered as the
economy there reopens more quickly but travel restrictions meant
jet fuel was in less demand, weighing on interest for heavier
crude oil grades which have yet to recover.

* The coronavirus pandemic has done in a handful of months
what even a 27-year civil war did not: it has brought oil
drilling to a halt in Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil
* Saudi Arabia replaced Iraq as the top oil supplier to
India in April after a gap of three months as refiners in Asia’s
third largest economy were drawn by deep discounts on Saudi
crudes, data obtained from sources showed.

(Reporting by Noah Browning; editing by Emelia

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