Nigeria is now the top crude oil supplier to India, displacing Saudia Arabia to take the position, ship tracking data compiled by Reuters has shown. This is the first time Nigeria will be getting the position in at least four years.
The shift comes as the gap between the international benchmark Brent and the Middle East price marker narrows. The premium for Nigerian crude over Brent has plummeted in recent months, making it more attractive.
India, which recently replaced the US as the single largest importer of crude oil from Nigeria, had in December 2014 cut its import of the Nigerian crudes by 38 per cent, according to data from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
In a bid to attract buyers, the NNPC lowered the official selling price for its largest crude oil stream, Qua Iboe, to dated Brent plus 35 cents per barrel, the lowest differential since May 2005. Bonny Light fell to dated Brent plus 23 cents. That’s the smallest differential since 2005 and compares with a 50 cent premium in June and $2.55 a year earlier, data compiled by Bloomberg showed.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter, also fell behind Russia and Angola as the biggest crude supplier to China last month, official data showed this week.