November 28, 2018 / 4:51 PM / 13 days ago

W. Africa Crude-Reduced offers for January cargoes fail to tempt buyers

LONDON, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Sellers cut offer prices for a variety of Nigerian grades on Wednesday, though buyers remained reluctant because of a surplus of unsold crude and slowing demand from China’s independent refineries, traders said.

Asian gasoline refining margins have fallen into negative territory for the first time in seven years and China’s so-called teapot refineries have more than enough crude in storage to cover immediate needs, traders said.

Demand for Angolan grades, which tend to go almost solely to Chinese refiners, has also slowed. About 20 cargoes out of the original 43 in the January programme were still available for sale despite sellers cutting offers by between 20 and 40 cents.

State-run Sonangol, BP and China’s Unipec have all offered cargoes of Angolan crude this week but failed to place any, traders said.

Offers for Nigerian Qua Iboe eased to about $1.65 a barrel above dated Brent, from $1.70 earlier this week. Chevron and Total were said to be offering, but no buyers stepped in.

In the Nigerian market, traders estimate that nearly a quarter of the December programme remains available.

Reporting by Amanda Cooper Editing by David Goodman

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