London — Offering prices for Angolan and Nigerian crude oil continued to ease from all-time highs on Tuesday amid sluggish trading due to U.S. sanctions on a major Chinese shipping fleet.
*Asking prices for Nigerian Bonny Light and Qua Iboe were a little above a premium of $2.50 compared with dated Brent, down from selling prices nearer to $2.70 achieved late in September.
*Still, sluggish crude oil prices have provided some support in recent weeks to European gasoline refining margins amid a post-summer seasonal lull.
*Long-haul rates to Asia have risen sharply, prompting refiners to shed some cargoes, especially hurting the trade from Congo and Angola which is most geared toward the long-haul voyage to East Asia.
*The assessed freight level from West Africa to China shot up from $2.89 a barrel last Tuesday to $4.89 on Monday, according to U.S.-based ship broker McQuilling.
*The rates were nearly double Arabian Gulf rates of $2.85 but well short of those from the U.S. Gulf at $6.60.
*China’s Unipec and Angolan state oil company Sonangol continued to seek to sell several cargoes of Angolan oil at reduced prices compared with last week.
*But price offerings for various grades, especially those most suitable for refining into grades compliant with cleaner marine shipping rules, continued to fluctuate by seller.
*Trafigura and Vitol had offered a cargo of Nigerian ranging from dated Brent plus $2.70 to $4.70.
*Unipec had offered Angolan Dalia at $1.90 above dated Brent but Sonangol offered Dalia at $2.80.
*Turkey’s Tupras issued a buy tender for Bonny Light, Forcados, Jones Creek or other similar grades for Nov. 25 to Dec. 10, scheduled to close on Tuesday.
*India’s IOC issued a new tender for west African crude loading Nov. 24 to Dec. 3 closing later this week.