UPDATE 2-Asian demand for W.African oil slips in April

Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:15pm IST

* Exports set to fall slightly to 1.56 mln bpd

* Indonesian demand falters, prefers spot

* For a related table: (Adds bullet with table link, detail)

By Emma Farge

GENEVA, March 23 (Reuters) - Asian imports of West African crude oil are set to slip to 1.56 million barrels per day (bpd) in April while holding above the average level for 2011, a Reuters survey of oil flows showed.

Asia is expected to import 51 cargoes from West Africa in April, compared with an average of 50 during last year.

Asian imports from the region hit a record high in the first quarter as purchases of Iranian oil decline and Chinese and Indian refiners build stocks from alternative sources.

Daily imported volumes were down from an estimate of 1.81 million bpd in March.

Traders pointed to a change in Indonesia's buying patterns as the main factor behind the fall in volumes.

Petral, the trading unit of Indonesian state-run energy firm Pertamina, failed to award a tender to buy sweet grades for May-July arrival and is expected to focus instead on spot purchases.

"They are staying high, although we have Indonesia taking less," said a trader.

Demand from China was little changed, with an estimated 30 cargoes scheduled to load versus a planned 31 cargoes. Traders said Unipec was the main buyer for the Chinese market, taking at least 20 cargoes.

India was expected to import 13 cargoes versus 15 in March, the survey showed.

North American, Asian and European refiners vie to purchase West Africa's mostly high quality, low sulphur crude oil from countries such as Nigeria, Angola and Chad.

Increasingly, Indian, Chinese and other Asian buyers have been buying crude from the region to meet booming demand.

"There's not any fundamental reason for it. They have just built the units to consume this type of crude so they are buying it. Demand is structural," said a West African oil trader, asked to explain the consistently high demand from Asia. (Reporting by Emma Farge; Editing by Anthony Barker and David Hulmes)

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

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Diwali Sales

Diwali Sales

Gold sales jump about 20 pct for Diwali - trade body  Full Article 

World Bank Rival

World Bank Rival

Three major nations absent as China launches W.Bank rival in Asia  Full Article 

Wal-Mart India

Wal-Mart India

Murali Lanka appointed as Wal-Mart India operations chief  Full Article 

Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft Earnings

Microsoft sales beat Street hopes, cloud profits up.  Full Article 

Special Report

Special Report

Why Madrid's poor fear Goldman Sachs and Blackstone  Full Article 

U.S. Economy

U.S. Economy

Spectre of no-inflation world looms over Fed's return to normal  Full Article 

Insider Trading

Insider Trading

Rengan Rajaratnam, SEC to settle civil insider trading charge.  Full Article 

Market Watch

Market Watch

Betting on the beaten up? Investors pin hopes on stocks in Europe, Japan.  Full Article 

India Insight

India Insight

Kalki Koechlin on her role as a disabled girl in “Margarita, With a Straw”  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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