London -- West African crude oil exporters
continued to grapple with record low prices and
depressed demand as buyers sought imports closer
* Price differentials for physical crude improved
slightly for Mediterranean and Russian grades
after the dated Brent benchmark hit two-decade
lows on Tuesday but rebounded.
* Traders said demand was still low but refiners
had more capacity than in other geographies,
especially the United States, and noted Chinese
buying of Russian oil had picked up.
* The moves provided little clarity for West African oil traders as offer prices
continued to be largely held for private discussions as the market held off on
crude for later delivery.
* Nigeria's NNPC was meeting on Thursday to finalize official selling prices for
May and export volumes for June, which traders expect to be reduced somewhat due
to a producer output cut pact this month.
* With at least three dozen unsold cargoes still available for export in April
and May, Nigerian oil faces one of the most difficult paths to market with even
key grade Bonny Light heard to be offered at dated Brent minus $5.
* A tender by Indonesia's Pertamina for light crude for delivery in the second
half of the year was met in part by Nigerian crude, two trade sources said, but
details did not emerge.
* Angolan oil for export in May had almost sold out as new cargoes for June
attracted little interest, with traders seeing China as the only key buyer
possibly interested in purchases.
West Africa Crude – China provides a dim light as refiners shut
* China's second quarter fuel demand is forecast to rebound from the first quarter,
nearly matching year-ago levels, as Beijing lifts curbs to contain its coronavirus
outbreak and resume the full output of the world's second-largest economy.
* OPEC's share of India's oil imports fell to 78.3% in 2019/20, its lowest in
at least 19 years, data obtained from industry and trade sources show, as refiners
in Asia's third biggest economy increased imports of U.S. and Mediterranean grades.