LONDON, March 21 (Reuters) – May loading programmes for more grades of Nigerian crude emerged on Thursday, as Angolan and Nigerian cargoes left over from April slowly make their way to buyers amid slowing Asian demand.
* April-loading cargoes were clearing and neared zero after an overhang of a little under 10 earlier in the week, a higher-than-normal excess after heavy demand earlier in the year.
* Traders see slackening Chinese demand exerting downward pressure on West African differentials.
* It was heard that Angola’s Sonangol finalised its term sales of May-loading crude cargoes on Wednesday, with 10 going to China and two to India.
* Escravos will have six cargoes, or 163,000 barrels per day (bpd) in May. Usan will have three cargoes, or 92,000 bpd.
* Around 20 cargoes remain for April loading.
* Programmes for most key grades remained absent, a day after it emerged the Qua Iboe stream will load nine cargoes or 276,000 bpd.
* Nigeria’s state oil company NNPC on Thursday kept the April official selling price (OSP) for the four key grades Bonny Light, Qua Iboe, Bonga and Forcados almost unchanged.
* The NNPC said it was on track to produce 2.3 million bpd in 2019, 400-600,000 of which it currently classes as condensate and not crude.
* Exxon sought to sell two cargoes of April-loading Nigerian Qua Iboe and one of Erha but no buyers appeared to have emerged
* Nigeria’s central bank expects the economy to pick up in 2019, forecasting gross domestic product growth of 3 percent, up from the 1.9 percent recorded last year. (Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ))