W’Africa’s Oil Exports to China Dip to Lowest Since 2011


Indications have emerged that West African crude oil exports to China will fall to a four-year low in October.

This reflects the major buyer nation’s little interest in spot crude imports in the early autumn.

Reuters indicated in its latest survey that oil traders and shipping fixtures, pushed overall exports to Asia to the lowest in more than a year, despite buying from several Indian refineries including Reliance and state-run IOC, HPCL and BPCL.

It pointed out that refinery runs in Asia are lower as a result of seasonal maintenance, which capped their need for crude oil cargoes. Run cuts earlier this year in China on the back of poor margins had also lowered the country’s interest in spot cargoes.

It disclosed that China’s November buying interest had already perked up, with trader Unipec taking several November loading spot cargoes from Angola.

However, exports for October, at around 24 cargoes or a total of 735,000 barrels per day (bpd), were the lowest since 2011, according to Reuters data.

It also noted that top OPEC exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to slash the prices of its crude oil exports to Asia in November in a move to maintain its market share.


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