London — Freight rates to Europe and Asia have continued to ease, albeit at a less rapid rate than during the middle of the month, boosting price offerings for West
African grades, traders said on Monday.
* Rates for VLCCs from Nigeria’s Bonny Light terminal to Singapore settled at $3.25 a barrel on Friday from highs just below $10 two weeks earlier, according to Refinitiv data, while for Rotterdam they eased to $2.72 from a high above $5.
* Rates for key Angolan grade Girassol aboard a VLCC bound for China plunged to $3.84 a barrel from highs of $11.39.
* Traders said Girassol was being offered at a premium of around $2 compared to dated Brent, back in line with better trading months and a sign of perceived higher buyer interest.
* Still, freight rates for major routes appeared to ease at a less steep rate than the previous week, suggesting the market has not yet fully recovered from the impact of U.S. sanctions on a Chinese shipping fleet, which caused the price spike.
* A trader said no December export schedule had yet been released for Nigeria’s Erha stream, usually a producer of 5-6 cargoes, amid reports of an outage for maintenance.
* Angola’s November export schedule had just about sold out after yet another extended overhang of barrels into the new trading month.
* Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil have paid $1.7 million to Somalia to lease offshore blocks for 30 years, the country’s state news agency reported on Friday.
* The joint chief executives of South African petrochemicals group Sasol will step down this month after the company’s review of the difficulties that beset its Lake Charles Chemicals project (LCCP) in the United States.