Sam Ikeotuonye, with agency reports
Lagos — The Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, has sharply raised January official selling prices, OSPs, for Bonny Light to dated Brent plus 251 cents from plus 128 cents in January, and Qua Iboe crude oil to plus 266 cents from 150 cents per barrel last month.
Trading remained slow on Thursday as tender results were expected at the end of the week and February export programmes for minor Nigerian programmes began to emerge.
Reuters reports that the increase in prices by the NNPC reflects higher selling prices for some light sweet and heavy sweet Nigerian grades driven by demand for low-sulphur fuel oil and relatively high competing local grades.
Despite the near-record prices fetched for some varieties, a glut of around 20 Nigerian cargoes remains to be sold for February as buyers hold out for discounts.
One potential European buyer said “freight costs, differentials and market structure are untenable situations.Margins are in the negative.”
Programmes for the Agbami and Akpo crude streams emerged, but those for key grades remained elusive.
The last handful of Angolan cargoes remains to be exported for January after February programmes emerged on Tuesday.
Freight rates have inched up and dissuaded buying, especially to East Asia where distillate margins have lagged and put off some buying of heavier grades.
India’s HPCL issued a tender for crude loading Feb. 1-10, with results expected on Friday.
* Taiwan’s CPC also closed a tender to buy crude, with results expected to emerge by Friday.