London — Crude exports from West Africa to East Asia were set to roughly match those of previous months, although U.S. sanctions on a top Chinese shipping fleet, which were imposed on Sept. 24 sending freight costs soaring, will likely impact November more.
* Far Eastern countries were set to import 45.2 million barrels of West African oil, down just 3 million from the previous month and in line with much of the rest of 2019.
* Traders said the impact of the freight cost price spike would affect November-loading cargoes more, but as transport costs, especially for VLCCs, ease the crisis may soon abate.
* Backwardation and middling refining margins have impeded West African flows to Asia since the beginning of the summer.
* West African crude loading in October bound for Europe at 31.1 million barrels was the second-lowest of any month this year, however, as margins especially for gasoline eased.
* A trader said Nigeria’s Erha stream, which usually produces 5-6 cargoes, was down for maintenance and therefore lacked a December loading programme.
* Stockpiles of low-sulphur marine fuels held in floating storage around the Singapore area are steadily growing ahead of IMO 2020 shipping rules.
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* Angola’s November export schedule was down to one or two cargoes at most, traders said, as Mostarda continued to struggle for buyer interest but even heavy sweet Dalia sold slowly.
* Saudi Arabia held its position as China’s largest crude oil supplier in September helped by demand from new refineries and as imports from Iran and Venezuela continued to fall due to U.S. sanctions, customs data showed on Friday.
* Energy group Eni achieved its highest ever oil and gas production rate for a third quarter, softening the blow of lower quarterly earnings because of weak oil and gas prices.
* The U.S. Treasury Department on Thursday issued a nearly two-month waiver for companies to wind down transactions with a Chinese tanker company it sanctioned last month for allegedly transporting Iranian oil.
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