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Asia buys record volume of W.African oil in Q1
LONDON, March 1 |
LONDON, March 1 (Reuters) - Asian buyers are taking record volumes of West African crude oil this year as fuel consumption rises in India, China and other East Asian countries, a Reuters survey of trade sources showed on Monday.
Imports of cargoes of unrefined oil from Nigeria, Angola and other African producers via Atlantic ports averaged around 1.79 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first quarter, up from about 1.53 million bpd in the fourth quarter and close to 1.1 million bpd a year ago.
In the first three months of this year, Asia consumed about 40 percent of all the West African crude produced, up from around 25 percent in Q1 2009, the Reuters survey shows.
Asian buyers have so far taken 52 cargoes of West African crude oil due to load in March, compared with around 50 in February and at least 59 cargoes loading in January.
Some industry estimates for Asian imports in January were even higher, suggesting as many as 65 crude oil cargoes may have gone east from West African ports in January as buyers, mainly supplying Chinese end-consumers, went on a shopping spree. (Reporting by Christopher Johnson; editing by Keiron Henderson)
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