W. Africa Crude-Early offers disappoint potential customers

 LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Offers for Angolan and Nigerian
crude oil made around a week after March-loading programmes
emerged have yet to stoke buyer interest amid high freight
rates. * Shell's force majeure remains in place over Bonny Light
crude oil, but the closure of only one of the two pipelines
transporting the grade means the action will only result in
delays, not an outright stoppage. * The setback was set to bolster asking prices for other
light sweet grades, with Nigerian Qua Iboe being offered at
around dated Brent $3.00 a barrel. * A slide in freight rates last week for Suezmax tankers to
Europe appears to have paused, making the high offers untenable
for potential buyers. * Offers by Angola's state oil company Sonangol were roughly
in line with those from the beginning of the last trading cycle. * Heavy sweet Dalia was offered at dated Brent plus $2.80 a
barrel, but one European trader said market structure and
margins mean only $2 or lower would attract interest. RELATED NEWS * Portugal's market watchdog launched inquiries into various
firms where Angolan billionaire Isabel dos Santos holds stakes,
it said on Thursday, after Angola's chief prosecutor said she
could face an international arrest warrant if she fails to
cooperate in a fraud investigation. * Global commodities trader Trafigura is in advanced talks
to buy more than 10% of an Angolan general's stake in its fuel
retail arm Puma Energy by the end of the year, sources familiar
with the matter said. * China's gasoline exports surged nearly a third in 2019,
data showed on Thursday, setting a seventh straight annual
record as a boom in new refineries chimed with a slump in
vehicle sales to produce a domestic fuel surplus ripe for
shipment elsewhere. (Reporting By Noah Browning; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle) ))

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