July 3, 2019 / 3:48 PM / 3 months ago

W. Africa Crude-Nigerian diffs firm on U.S. imports of European gasoline

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) - Demand for Angolan and Nigerian crude was seen to be picking up on Wednesday ahead of new marine fuel regulations set for 2020 and a rise in European gasoline exports to the U.S. East Coast.

NIGERIA

* Gasoline exports from Europe to the U.S. East Coast rose in recent days after the June 21 fire at the 335,000 barrel-per-day Philadelphia Energy Solutions Inc refinery, with around 555,000 tonnes of gasoline and blending components booked in the first week of July.

* European gasoline cracks have mounted and while these factors favour Nigerian imports, traders say expectations for even better margins in the short term are stoking interest.

* But U.S. gasoline stocks fell by 1.6 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said, less than analysts’ expectations.

* Around 10-15 cargoes were heard to remain for July loading.

* Price offerings for August loading cargoes of major grades Bonny Light and Qua Iboe were around a premium of $2.50-$2.60 compared to dated Brent, up from late spot sales of July loading cargoes closer to $2.30-$2.40.

ANGOLA

* Interest in heavier and more sour Angolan grades was heard to be mounting, though top buyer China remained interested in competing Middle Eastern grades.

* China is already capitalising on a narrowing Brent-Dubai spread to make more brisk purchases of Angolan crude.

* A little less than 20 cargoes remain for August, with sales of around a couple cargoes per day.

TENDERS

* India’s IOC issued a new buy tender for west African crude loading Sept. 1-10, closing on Thursday.

* Indonesia’s Pertamina has issued a tender for crude loading Aug. 1-8 set to close on Friday.

RELATED NEWS

* At least 50 people were killed in Nigeria when fuel from a crashed truck that they were collecting caught fire, a spokesman for the governor in Benue state said on Tuesday.

* Gasoline exports from Europe to the U.S. East Coast rose sharply in early July after a fire at a major refinery in Philadelphia left a supply shortage in the densely populated region. (Reporting by Noah Browning; editing by David Evans) ))

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