W. Africa Crude-Nigerian October programmes show roughly steady exports
LONDON, Aug 23 (Reuters) - The preliminary October export schedules for most grades of Nigerian oil had circulated among traders by Friday, with the top streams providing about the same volumes as the previous month.
* Exports of Nigeria’s four key crude oil grades Bonny Light, Bonga, Qua Iboe and Forcados are set to rise in October by 8,000 barrels per day, with a notable drop in Qua Iboe from 253,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 184,000 bpd.
* Waning U.S. gasoline demand has weighed on Nigerian diffs in recent days, with offers for Bonny Light and Qua Iboe sliding below $2.50 above dated Brent.
* Planned maintenance in early September to the Buzzard field in the North Sea, which feeds main grade Forties, may provide support for comparable Nigerian grades, traders said.
* Asian refining margins have tumbled more than 50% since mid-July in anticipation of plummeting demand for high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) ahead of a shift to cleaner marine fuels next year.
* Cargoes of heavier crude for October export have been marked up by around $1 from more prompt loading cargoes in anticipation of the IMO 2020 marine shipping rules.
* The switch to low sulphur fuels is expected to boost Asian margins shortly, but signs point to buyer scepticism, and diffs for competing grades are on the wane.
* The selling price for a cargo of Australian Van Gogh sold for a premium of $8 compared to dated Brent, down from an all-time high of $12 the previous month.
* Frontline has agreed to buy 10 Suezmax oil tankers from Trafigura in a cash and share deal worth up to $675 million which will make the Geneva-based trading firm the group’s second biggest shareholder. (Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Kirsten Donovan) ))