08 August 2012, Sweetcrude, LAGOS – ASIA is set to import record volumes of crude oil from West Africa, mainly from Nigeria, this year as increasing supplies of high quality crude drive down its export prices and some buyers shun their traditional supplier, Iran.
Available data showed that in the first quarter of 2012, Asian countries imported 1.82 million barrels per day of crude oil from the West Africa region, mainly from Nigeria. This is against the 1.79 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2011.
In 2010, first quarter import of crude from the region was 1.71 million barrels per day as against the one million barrels per day in 2009 and 1.21 million barrels per day in 2008.
In the second quarter of this year, crude oil export from West Africa to Asian declined to 1.76 million barrels per day, but was higher than the 1.57 million barrels per day in the second quarter of 2011 and lower than the 1.73 million barrels per day in 2010.
Two months into the third quarter of 2012, import of crude by Asian countries stand at 1.64 million barrels per day.
According to a survey conducted by Reuters, in June China imported 1,013 barrels per day, bpd; in July 889 barrels per day; August 857 barrels per day and in September order has been placed for 823 barrel per day. India ranked the second largest Asian importers of crude from West Africa. In June 2012 it imported 380 barrels per day, 368 bpd in July, 644 bpd in August and 475 bpd in September.