W. Africa Crude-Nigerian crude diffs bounce to multi-month high

LONDON, Jan 9 (Reuters) – A series of tenders this week and a burst of buying pushed up Nigerian differentials up sharply on Wednesday, traders said.

The typically slow trading pattern of the first full week of the year appeared to be tailing off after two major grades changed hands at their highest since September.

Tenders by India’s IOC and Turkish refiner Tupras this week have kept offers fairly thin on the ground and potential buyers have said that any indicated prices were simply too high given that there are plenty of cargoes available for both Angolan and Nigerian grades.

* Total was said to have bought a cargo of Qua Iboe at a premium of $1.75 a barrel to dated Brent, one trading source said. Just two weeks ago, both Qua and Bonny Light were indicated around $1.60-1.65, but met with no interest.

* Around 10 cargoes of February-loading Angolan crude were still believed to be available for sale.

* Close to 20 Nigerian cargoes were still available but with tenders this week from IOC and Turkey’s Tupras, the market remained reasonably well supported, one trader said.

* IOC has issued a tender to buy crude oil loading March 1-10 that closes on Thursday, while Tupras’ tender for a West African grade closed earlier on Wednesday. The winner was not immediately clear, traders said. (Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by Susan Fenton) ))


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