W. Africa Crude-Nigerian clearing as Asian buying picks up

LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) – Sellers of West African grades assessed Asian demand to be rebounding, dispelling market concerns about signs of an economic slowdown and competition from abundant U.S. shale oil.


* May-loading differentials were higher, with Bonny Light being offered at just under $2 and Qua Iboe just over $2 compared to dated Brent.

* Buyers scooped up cheaper April cargoes, for which indications for Qua Iboe are nearly 50 cents less than for May, as the overhang dwindles.


* Shipping rates were said to remain largely favourable for West African cargoes bound for Asia, but lacklustre refining margins may be keeping a lid on the demand.

* Further outages for Venezuelan exports was heard to possibly favor comparable sour grades like Angolan Cabinda.

* Some market participants believe the April lull in demand is seasonal and may be attributable to quarterly buying by independent Chinese refiners.


* Nigerian bond yields fell slightly on Wednesday, a day after the central bank unexpectedly announced an interest rate cut aimed at stimulating growth in Africa’s biggest economy.

* Nigeria plans to tap concessionary long-term loans to finance its 2019 budget in addition to borrowing at home, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed said on Wednesday. (Reporting by Noah Browning, editing by Ed Osmond) ))


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