London — New U.S. sanctions on COSCO, one of the world’s major oil shipping fleets, raised shipping prices on Thursday, especially in the Middle East, but had yet to impact West African shipments eastward.
* Global freight rates shot up after the United States imposed sanctions on divisions of Chinese shipping giant COSCO for allegedly moving Iranian crude.
* As major buyers like China’s Sinopec and India’s IOC cancelled bookings on some COSCO vessels and looked for alternative ships, shippers stood to benefit.
* Relatively few COSCO supertankers were docked at or bound for West African ports and traders had yet to note any concrete impact on exports from the region.
* BP-chartered Island Splendor was bound for the region and Unipec-charted Xin Han Yang appeared scheduled to arrive in Angola after the weekend.
* It was not yet clear but appeared unlikely, traders said, that charterers would interrupt current fixtures but rather seek alternatives to COSCO for future cargoes.
* India’s oil imports from Iraq surged to a record high in August, as African crude imports fell 18.3% to 764,500 bpd while prices for heavy sweet crudes from Angola, Cameroon and Chad sought by China’s state and independent refiners have risen.
* Shipments of Canadian crude from the U.S. Gulf Coast since May have more than doubled all of 2018’s exports as Asian refiners scramble for heavy sour oil, according to
vessel-tracking data, traders and industry sources.
Also Read: Oil shipping rates soar as U.S. supertanker sanctions rattle crude trade
* Prices for the handful of remaining cargoes for October export were sliding gradually amid muted Asian interest due to backwardation and high shipping costs.
* Shell maintained its force majeure over exports of Bonny Light, as market participants continue to grapple with loading delays which confound their schedules.
* Northwest European gasoline refining margins rose following a draw in regional stocks and amid strong exports, making imports of Nigerian grades more attractive.
* Lower price offerings for Bonny Light and Qua Iboe, both around a premium of $2.75 compared to dated Brent, met many buyers’ expectations and could help a supply glut clear.
* Uncertainty continues to surround the crude demand of Saudi Arabia, especially regarding its regular customers, as some sellers believe attacks on its main plants this month could
lead it and global buyers to seek alternative light sweet crude.
* Both Indian Oil Corp. and Thailand’s PTT closed but winners were slow to emerge.
* They should have started a bull run, but supply shocks that have rocked the oil industry this year have failed to deliver a sustained rise in crude prices.
* Marathon Petroleum Corp said on Friday the company’s board supported Gary Heminger staying on as chief executive officer amid calls for his ouster from two top 10 shareholders.
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