July 7, 2020 / 4:15 PM / a month ago

W. Africa Crude-Chinese buying lull continues, Angola to rein in output

LONDON, July 7 (Reuters) - Chinese buying of Angolan and Congolese crude was among the lowest of any recent trading cycle, market sources said on Tuesday, while OPEC member Angola has agreed to rein in output.

* Chinese state and independent refiners had still largely held off on buying the heavier West African grades, though the import quotas for the latter were not quite exhausted and could provide some support.

* Angola has agreed with OPEC to comply fully with a global pact on supply curbs and will compensate for previous overproduction by cutting more from July to September, two OPEC sources said.

* Traders said the move was likely to be barely perceptible in monthly volumes, with July output largely sold and a small number of cargoes easily deferred from one month to the next.

* Only around 10 cargoes of Angolan crude remained to be sold for export in August, but lack of Chinese demand has seen some grades slip around 50 cents from a little over a week ago.

* Few products in major markets saw a decisive improvement to refining margins, though improving gasoil margins in Europe and Asia provided some support to generally slumping physical crude prices.

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* Freepoint Commodities Singapore Pte Ltd has hired two crude oil traders as it seeks to expand physical trading activities in the region, four trade sources said on Tuesday.

Reporting by Noah Browning; Editing by Maju Samuel

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