08 July 2015, Lagos – There are indications that Nigeria’s crude oil export would spike up in August against the previous months, even as some overhang July cargoes struggle to find buyers.
The provisional August loading programme already showed that about 58.6 million barrels of crude would be shipped on 64 cargoes at a rate equivalent to 1.89 million barrels per day (bpd), while the planned shipment for Bonny Light is yet to emerge.
This reflects an increasing trend compared with the 1.97 million bpd planned in July, on 66 cargoes, including seven one million barrels shipments of Bonny Light.
The August loading schedules showed 12 planned shipments of the main export grade Qua Iboe, unchanged from July, but an extra cargo each of Agbami, Bonga, Forcados and Yoho, and two extra cargoes of Brass River.
The surplus of light sweet crude in the Atlantic basin has weighed heavily on the value of Nigerian grades in recent months.
There were around 20 unsold cargoes of June and July-loading Nigerian crude available last week, although Indian demand has since helped some of the overhang to clear.
Meanwhile, Nigeria has reportedly replaced Saudi Arabia as the largest crude oil supplier to India after its oil exports to India last month surged by nearly 200 percent, supplying some 745,000 barrels per day.
It’s the first time in at least four years that Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, has lost the top spot.
India’s African oil imports rose to the highest in more than four years, from 15.5 percent in April to 26 per cent in May with tankers mainly from Nigeria and Angola, while the share of Middle Eastern oil to India fell to 54 per cent in May from 61 per cent in April, with Saudi Arabia supplying some 732,400 barrels per day.
Oil prices have dropped for Nigeria’s premium over Brent in recent months, which have made the former more attractive to importers.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation had recently reduced the prices of Nigeria’s crude oil grades to their lowest in over a decade as the West African nation fights for international market share.
Nigeria’s exports to the United States have also shrunk from almost one million barrels per day in 2010 to just 30,000 this year.
The falling global oil prices have posed tough challenges for oil-dependent Nigeria.
*Sulaiman Salau – Guardian