W. Africa Crude-Angolan cargoes clearing on discounts but overhang looms

LONDON, June 13 (Reuters) – Cargoes of Angolan crude oil for July loading picked up on Thursday due to sharp discounts and increased Chinese interest, though it appeared unlikely they would sell out before the August programme emerges early nect week.

ANGOLA

* As few as 6 cargoes of Angolan crude remain for July loading, putting it on track for the first overhang of 2019 as August-loading programmes are expected on Monday.

* The sales have followed daily price reductions and is due to stepped-up buying from Chinese state and independent refiners, sellers said.

* A steep Dubai-Brent spread DUB-EFS-1M along with weak Asian refining margins have dented demand from China, Angola’s top buyer.

NIGERIA

* European refiners continue to largely refuse price offering for lighter Nigerian grades, with Bonny Light and Qua Iboe being offered for around $2.50.

* Down at least $1.50 from price offerings at the beginning of the month, the two major grades still appear to be ill-suited for Europe due to poor gasoline margins.

* Unexplained loading delays for Bonny Light and Forcados unnerved both buyers and sellers, as comparable light U.S. grades continue to make inroads into traditional markets.

TENDERS

* India’s IOC was heard to have issued a tender for West Africa crude for mid-August delivery.

* Uruguay’s ANCAP purchased a cargo of WTI Midland and Angolan Nemba for its tender which closed on Tuesday.

RELATED NEWS

* Attacks on two oil tankers on Thursday in the Gulf of Oman left one ablaze and both adrift, shipping firms said, driving oil prices LCOc1 up 4% over worries about Middle East supplies.

* OPEC has cut its forecast for global oil demand growth and warned of potential further cuts as international trade disputes continue to fester, building a case for prolonged supply restraint over the rest of 2019.

* The International Monetary Fund said its board had completed the first review under Angola’s extended arrangement and approved a disbursement of $248.15 million, taking the total of such payments to about $1.24 billion.

Reporting by Noah Browning; editing by David Evans

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