W. Africa Crude-Freight rates continue to ease, buoying diffs

 LONDON, Oct 28 (Reuters) - Freight rates to Europe and Asia
have continued to ease, albeit at a less rapid rate than during
the middle of the month, boosting price offerings for West
African grades, traders said on Monday. * Rates for VLCCs from Nigeria's Bonny Light terminal to
Singapore settled at $3.25 a barrel on Friday from highs just
below $10 two weeks earlier, according to Refinitiv data, while
for Rotterdam they eased to $2.72 from a high above $5. * Rates for key Angolan grade Girassol aboard a VLCC bound
for China plunged to $3.84 a barrel from highs of $11.39. * Traders said Girassol was being offered at a premium of
around $2 compared to dated Brent, back in line with better
trading months and a sign of perceived higher buyer interest. * Still, freight rates for major routes appeared to ease at
a less steep rate than the previous week, suggesting the market
has not yet fully recovered from the impact of U.S. sanctions on
a Chinese shipping fleet, which caused the price spike. * A trader said no December export schedule had yet been
released for Nigeria's Erha stream, usually a producer of 5-6
cargoes, amid reports of an outage for maintenance. * Angola's November export schedule had just about sold out
after yet another extended overhang of barrels into the new
trading month. RELATED NEWS * Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil have paid $1.7 million
to Somalia to lease offshore blocks for 30 years, the country's
state news agency reported on Friday. * The joint chief executives of South African petrochemicals
group Sasol will step down this month after the company's review
of the difficulties that beset its Lake Charles Chemicals
project (LCCP) in the United States. (Reporting by Noah Browning; editing by David Evans) ))
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