Trading sources have revealed that just a handful of cargoes of June Nigerian cargoes were still up for sale, but the July programme was proving slow to move on, as differentials remained too high relative to the amount of oil available.
Differentials for major grades such as Qua Iboe still looked like they could head lower, traders said.
Force majeure on exports of Bonny Light crude remains in place, a spokesman for Shell said.
Meanwhile, Angola’s Unipec was said to be offering cargoes of Girassol and Plutonio on a free-on-board basis, trading sources said. Roughly half of the July loading programme was said to be available.
Flows of Angola oil to China have slowed in the last few months, largely as a function of competition from U.S. crudes that now trade at fairly sizeable discounts to Brent-linked grades.
Consultant Kpler estimates exports of Angolan crude to China fell by 288,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May from the previous year to reach 703,000 bpd.
“The overarching narrative around Angola remains consistent – natural upstream declines will likely continue to push down on export volumes over the long-run. May shipments were a sizable 209,000 bpd year on year,” Kpler said in a note. “Even so, for now flows appear to have balanced out, with seaborne exports remaining within a 100,000-bpd bounded range since March.”
Russian ESPO crude oil premiums fell to the lowest in seven months on weak demand from Chinese independent refiners, trade sources saidon Monday. “We rarely saw bids from teapots at above $3,” said a trader who sells crude to China, referring to July-loading ESPO crude.
Japanese refiner Cosmo Oil has bought 1 million barrels of U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) Midland crude to be loaded in June, a source with knowledge of the matter said last week.