W. Africa Crude-Nigerian October programmes show roughly steady exports

The preliminary October export schedules for most grades of Nigerian oil had circulated among traders by Friday, with the top streams providing about the same volumes as the previous month.


* Exports of Nigeria’s four key crude oil grades Bonny Light, Bonga, Qua Iboe and Forcados are set to rise in October by 8,000 barrels per day, with a notable drop in Qua Iboe from 253,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 184,000 bpd.

* Waning U.S. gasoline demand has weighed on Nigerian diffs in recent days, with offers for Bonny Light and Qua Iboe sliding below $2.50 above dated Brent.

* Planned maintenance in early September to the Buzzard field in the North Sea, which feeds main grade Forties, may provide support for comparable Nigerian grades, traders said.


* Asian refining margins have tumbled more than 50% since mid-July in anticipation of plummeting demand for high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) ahead of a shift to cleaner marine fuels next year.

* Cargoes of heavier crude for October export have been marked up by around $1 from more prompt loading cargoes in anticipation of the IMO 2020 marine shipping rules.

* The switch to low sulphur fuels is expected to boost Asian margins shortly, but signs point to buyer scepticism, and diffs for competing grades are on the wane.

* The selling price for a cargo of Australian Van Gogh sold for a premium of $8 compared to dated Brent, down from an all-time high of $12 the previous month.