UPDATE 2-Asia to import less W.African crude in Dec

Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:18pm IST

* Planned volumes seen around 1.26 mln bpd

* China, Taiwan and India reduce imports

* Imports fall from an 8-month high in November (Adds background, outlook for January)

By Emma Farge

LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Asian imports of West African crude oil are set to fall sharply in December to 1.26 million bpd, oil traders said on Monday, despite the relatively inexpensive price of Brent compared to Asian grades.

About 41 cargoes of West African crude are set to sail to Asia from West Africa in December compared with a planned 53 cargoes in November, according to traders.

Asian imports of West African crude in November were a planned 1.68 million bpd and the highest in eight months.

The sharp fall was largely due to lower import requirements from China, India and Taiwan, traders said. They added that no exports from West Africa to Korea or Japan were seen .

China is set to buy around 25 cargoes from West Africa in December versus 28 in November while Taiwan's imports are set to fall to two cargoes from six.

Most of the exports will be sourced from Africa's two top oil producers , Nigeria and Angola , which were set to export a total of around 3.71 million bpd in December.

SWEET VERSUS SOUR

The expected fall in Asian imports came as a surprise to many traders given weaker prices of Brent, which serves as the basis for West African crude prices, against Dubai crude.

The Brent-Dubai spread, which serves as a measure for the profitability of the arbitrage to ship oil eastwards as well as a market for the relative strength of sweet and sour grades, fell to a one-year low of $1.38 a barrel in November. <BFO/DUB-1M>

A West African trader working for an Asian firm said the lower-than-average imports were probably the result of high demand in late November.

"We bought less in December but I don't think it's fundamental. We took more in late November," he said.

Traders said that buying patterns for the January loading programme indicated that Asian imports might rise again in early 2012.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has already bought around 4 million barrels of West African crude oil grades including Forcados, Qua Iboe, Bonny Light and Girassol for loading in January, traders said. (Reporting by Emma Farge; editing by Anthony Barker)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Public Health

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Airtel Profit Jumps

Airtel Profit Jumps

Bharti Q2 net profit more than doubles   Full Article 

Maruti Earnings

Maruti Earnings

Maruti Suzuki net profit up 29 percent, beats estimates.  Full Article 

ICICI Results

ICICI Results

ICICI Bank Q2 profit up 15 percent, beats estimates.  Full Article 

Cost Cutting

Cost Cutting

PM Narendra Modi boots officials out of the first class cabin  Full Article 

Market at Record

Market at Record

Sensex, Nifty hit record highs; reforms outpace hawkish Fed.  Full Article 

Moody's on India

Moody's on India

Moody's welcomes India's policy steps, but wants to see more.  Full Article 

End Of QE

End Of QE

U.S. Fed ends bond buying, exhibits confidence in U.S. recovery.  Full Article 

Samsung Results

Samsung Results

Smartphone woes drag Samsung Elec Q3 profit to more than 3-year low.  Full Article 

Refining Margins

Refining Margins

BPCL aims to double refining margins with refinery expansion.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage