November 5, 2018 / 5:20 PM / 13 days ago

W. Africa Crude-Angolan diffs slide as high freight rates bite

LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - The West African market saw little in the way of spot trade on Monday as rising freight rates dampened demand from Asian buyers despite uncertainty over supply from Iran.

U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports came into force on Monday, although the U.S. government said it would temporarily allow big buyers such as China and India to keep buying crude.

Iran has lost around $2 billion in oil revenue since May, when U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal, U.S. Special Representative for Iran, Brian Hook, told reporters on a call on Monday.

A curtailment in Iranian supplies originally paved the way for refiners to increase their intake of oil from other sources, such as Angola. But a flurry of bookings in October for supertankers departing the Middle East has pushed up the cost of shipping crude to Asia from West Africa to multi-year highs.

ANGOLA

* State oil company Sonangol has sold its December-loading cargoes, but traders said at least 10 cargoes were still up for sale, with just days to go before the release of the January loading programme.

* Unipec cut its offers on a range of December loading cargoes. The refiner was said to be offering Plutonio at a discount of 40 cents to dated Brent, down from a discount of 20 cents on Friday, as well as cargoes of Saturno at minus 90, which was down from Friday’s 70-cent discount and Olombendo at a premium of 40 cents, compared with 60 cents on Friday.

NIGERIA

* Traders said they believed around 10 cargoes were left from Nigeria’s December loading programme.

* Nigerian Bonny Light, Bonga and Qua Iboe were offered at around dated Brent plus $1.75 a barrel, unchanged from Friday.

TENDERS

* Uruguay’s Ancap is running a tender, closing on Nov. 7, that could take a West African cargo for January arrival.

* Indonesia’s Pertamina is running a tender for crude delivered in January and February. The tender closed on Nov. 1 and bids remain valid until Nov. 5. (Reporting by Amanda Cooper; Editing by Gareth Jones) ))

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