July 1, 2020 / 4:18 PM / a month ago

W. Africa Crude-Chinese buying lull continues, lighter grades in focus

LONDON, July 1 (Reuters) - Unusually slow Chinese buying has led to slow sales of heavier West African grades, while a broad switch in desired crude slates from sour to sweet crudes is boosting Nigerian oil.

* State Chinese buyers continue to hold off on buying Angolan crude due to vast domestic stocks, with independent refiners providing little relief.

* Traders cited a lack of reduction to prices for August-loading barrels, which have been set high due to modest improvements to refining margins of some middle distillates.

* Iraq will reduce crude oil exports from its southern terminals by about half in July, mainly its Basra Light flows.

* The planned exports will go mostly to Asia, making a dearth of sour oil in Europe even more extreme and convincing refiners to switch to lighter, sweeter grades.

* The shift is due to boost Nigerian grades, but prices remained steady, while vast volumes of relatively cheap light U.S. oil continues to dominate European markets.

RELATED NEWS

* Tens of millions of barrels of crude and oil products stored on tankers at sea due to the coronavirus crisis are being sold, in a sign fuel demand is recovering as lockdowns ease, shipping sources say.

* India’s fuel consumption rose in June compared with May, continuing with a gradual recovery as industrial and transport sectors reopened after a stringent lockdown, a government statement issued on Wednesday said.

Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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