LONDON, Oct 31 (Reuters) - Spot trade in Nigerian cargoes remained slow on Wednesday, thanks to a stalemate that has developed between the owners of physical barrels and the buyers that believe offers are too high, while Angolan differentials held steady.
* Nigerian Bonny Light, Bonga and Qua Iboe were offered at around dated Brent plus $1.75 a barrel, unchanged from the previous day, but found no buyers.
* “I suspect that outside of tender, buyers are biding their time looking for substantially lower offers,” one trader said.
* Expensive shipping rates have plagued flows of West African crude to Asia this month in particular, as refiners have snapped up vessels in the Middle East to secure alternatives to their usual deliveries of Iranian crude which fall under U.S. sanctions from Nov. 4.
* Freight rates for tankers of various sizes have jumped sharply since early October. The daily cost of shipping Angolan crude on the month-long voyage to China has jumped to above $50,000, from closer to $42,000 on Monday, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.
* According to one West African crude trader, shipping brokers are saying vessel availability is good, meaning rates should in theory come under downward pressure.
* The strength in the VLCC market could well give suezmax owners a bit more pricing clout for shorter hauls, shipping sources said.
* Around a dozen cargoes of Angolan crude are available for sale from the December programme.
* Traders said BP was still offering Plutonio at dated Brent plus $0.20 and Pazflor at dated Brent plus $0.10, while ExxonMobil was offering Saxi at a premium of $0.60, unchanged from Tuesday.
* Indonesia’s Pertamina issued a tender for crude delivered in January and February. The tender closes on Nov. 1 and bids remain valid until Nov. 5.
* OPEC pumped 33.31 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, the Reuters monthly production survey on Wednesday found, up 390,000 bpd from September and the highest by OPEC as a group since December 2016.
* U.S. crude oil production surged by 416,000 bpd to a record 11.346 million bpd in August from a revised 10.93 million bpd in July, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in a monthly report on Wednesday. (Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by Mark Potter) ))