Monday, April 9, 2018

Nigeria's Qua Iboe, Forcados crude oil grades decouple ahead of Qua Iboe maintenance

Nigerian crude oil grade Qua Iboe strengthened above Forcados, after spending the last month at parity as reduced loadings over May and upcoming maintenance have tightened market fundamentals.

Qua Iboe was assessed at a 20 cents/b premium to Forcados at a $1.10 premium to Dated Brent on Thursday -- the widest spread between the two grades since December 28, 2017.

These two premium grades in West Africa typically track one another closely and Forcados also tends to price above Qua Iboe. But the fates of the two grades have switched this week with Qua Iboe pricing higher.

Next month, no loadings are scheduled until May 8 for Qua Iboe, to make way for scheduled maintenance.

Details around the maintenance have yet to be confirmed.

The rise in Qua Iboe prices was the exception among the broader West African market.

The other West African grades continued to decline to three-month lows on slow demand from key Asian markets -- namely India and China.

China buys over half of the Angolan programs each month, which has particularly hurt heavier Angolan grades.

Only half of the Angolan May loading program was heard to have cleared, further aggravating the sluggish demand for crude from the east.

on top of this were the public holidays in China this week that saw bidding interest wind down, sources said.

--Ahila Karan,
--Edited by Jeremy Lovell,

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