Bloomberg News

Total Bids for Forties; Asia to Cut West African Crude Imports

January 31, 2013

Total SA and Chevron Corp. both failed to buy North Sea Forties crude for a third session as they lowered their bids. There were no bids or offers for Urals grade for a second day.

Refiners in Asia will trim imports of West African crude for loading next month to the least in three months after India reduced its purchases to the lowest since July. China and Taiwan also pared purchases.

North Sea

Total sought to buy Forties at 40 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent for loading Feb. 17 to Feb. 23, a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. That’s 10 cents less than its equivalent bid yesterday and compares with cargoes it bought on Jan. 22 at premiums of 35 cents and 40 cents.

Chevron was also unsuccessful with its bid at plus 40 cents for a Feb. 21 to Feb. 23 cargo, according to the survey.

Reported crude trading typically occurs during the Platts window, which ends at 4:30 p.m. London time. Forties loading in 10 to 25 days fell 4 cents to 65 cents a barrel more than Dated Brent, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The differential averaged 84 cents this month.

Brent for March settlement traded at $115.20 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London at the close of the window, compared with $114.71 in the previous session. The front-month contract averaged $111.74 this month. The April contract was at $114.20, a discount of $1 to March.

Mediterranean/Urals

There were no bids or offers for Urals for a second day, the Platts survey showed. Gunvor Group Ltd. bid unsuccessfully on Jan. 29 for 100,000 metric tons at a discount of 90 cents a barrel to Dated Brent on a delivered basis to Rotterdam.

The Urals differential to Dated Brent in the Mediterranean narrowed by 5 cents a barrel to minus 25 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. It has averaged a discount of 41 cents in January. In northwest Europe, the discount dropped to 86 cents from 88 cents yesterday, the data showed. The spread has averaged a discount of $1.04 in January.

Iraq will ship 41 cargoes of Basrah Light crude from the Persian Gulf in February, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.

Russia will raise its standard oil export duty by 1.9 percent to $403.30 a ton, or about $55.02 a barrel, from Feb. 1, according to an order signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.

OAO Surgutneftegas sold Urals to BP Plc, Repsol SA, and China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp., known as Unipec, via a tender, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

BP bought a Feb. 19 to Feb. 20 cargo loading from Ust-Luga while Repsol purchased one for Feb. 21 to Feb. 22 from the same port, the people said, asking not to be identified because information is confidential. Unipec were awarded a shipment loading from Feb. 23 to Feb. 24 from Primorsk, they said. Each lot is for 100,000 tons.

West Africa

Benchmark Nigerian Qua Iboe blend rose 5 cents to $2.37 a barrel more than Dated Brent, which is the most since Jan. 8, Bloomberg data show. It has averaged $2.26 in January.

Asia bought 50 cargoes totaling 1.68 million barrels a day from Angola, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Ghana and Democratic Republic of Congo, according to a survey of six traders and an analysis of loading plans obtained by Bloomberg News. That compares with 1.8 million in January, which was the most in eight months, the survey showed.

Indian Oil Corp. bought two cargoes of March loading West African crude from Vitol Group via a tender, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The refiner purchased Nigerian EA and Angolan Nemba grades, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is confidential. Each consignment is 950,000 barrels, they said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rupert Rowling in London at rrowling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net


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