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West Africa Crude-Freight Rates Ease

AdobeStock / © Kasto

Freight rates to Europe and Asia have continued to ease, albeit at a less rapid rate than during the middle of the month, boosting price offerings for West African grades, traders said on Monday.

Rates for VLCCs from Nigeria's Bonny Light terminal to Singapore settled at $3.25 a barrel on Friday from highs just below $10 two weeks earlier, according to Refinitiv data, while for Rotterdam they eased to $2.72 from a high above $5.

Rates for key Angolan grade Girassol aboard a VLCC bound for China plunged to $3.84 a barrel from highs of $11.39. Traders said Girassol was being offered at a premium of around $2 compared to dated Brent, back in line with better trading months and a sign of perceived higher buyer interest.

Still, freight rates for major routes appeared to ease at a less steep rate than the previous week, suggesting the market has not yet fully recovered from the impact of U.S. sanctions on a Chinese shipping fleet, which caused the price spike.

A trader said no December export schedule had yet been released for Nigeria's Erha stream, usually a producer of 5-6 cargoes, amid reports of an outage for maintenance. Angola's November export schedule had just about sold out after yet another extended overhang of barrels into the new
trading month.

Reporting by Noah Browning

Oct 28, 2019



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