Nigeria’s crude oil is facing increasing competition from the light sweet grades from the US and this week have been no different.
Differentials for Nigerian and Angolan crudes hovered unchanged on Wednesday, as a series of tenders kept buyers at bay.
At least four tenders have been ongoing this week – from Taiwan and Thailand to India and South Africa – that have dampened activity in the market.
Traders ringfence cargoes they want to offer in tender processes, meaning liquidity in the spot market drops and there are fewer barrels available for sale, which in turn, deters buyers.
Traders said Thai refiner PTT and Taiwan’s CPC were both believed to have preferred and taken US crude over Nigeria’s as part of their most recent purchases.
The latest US government data showed US crude exports shot to a record 3 million barrels per day (bpd) in the latest week.
* August-loading Angolan cargoes were gradually selling. Traders estimated just over half of the 43-strong programme was still available for spot trade.
* The August programme for the Usan grade, which averaged around 82,000 bpd in supply in the first half of the year, had still not emerged, traders said, and force majeure remained in place on exports of Bonny Light.
* Between 12 and 15 July-loading cargoes of Nigerian crude were still thought to be available for sale, unchanged from the previous day, traders said.