Chinese broad switch to sweet crudes boosts Nigeria oil

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LONDON, July 1 – Unusually slow Chinese buying has led to slow sales of heavier West African grades, while a broad switch in desired crude slates from sour to sweet crudes is boosting Nigerian oil.

  • State Chinese buyers continue to hold off on buying Angolan crude due to vast domestic stocks, with independent refiners providing little relief.

  • Traders cited a lack of reduction to prices for August-loading barrels, which have been set high due to modest improvements to refining margins of some middle distillates.

  • Iraq will reduce crude oil exports from its southern terminals by about half in July, mainly its Basra Light flows.

  • The planned exports will go mostly to Asia, making a dearth of sour oil in Europe even more extreme and convincing refiners to switch to lighter, sweeter grades.

  • The shift is due to boost Nigerian grades, but prices remained steady, while vast volumes of relatively cheap light U.S. oil continues to dominate European markets.

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