LONDON: Vitol has won a tender to supply India’s IOC with crude oil, but other trading was limited on Thursday as differentials rose and some buyers baulked at higher prices.
Trading slowed on the remaining cargoes from the January export plan, as some delays in Chinese crude allocations kept buyers off the market.
Just under 10 cargoes remained available.
Strength in dated Brent, and backwardation in the market, were limiting other demand from Eastern buyers.
The February loading plan was expected early next week.
Sellers continued to offer light crude cargoes at higher prices, particularly grades such as Forcados or Bonga that could replace North Sea Forties.
Qua Iboe was offered as high as $1.95 per barrel above dated Brent, and Bonga at premiums up to $1.60 and Forcados as high as $1.80 per barrel.
While some buyers said these differentials could work, others said European buyers were more likely to take either Libyan or Algerian crude, which is closer, or US crude, which is priced against cheaper WTI futures.
Roughly 25 cargoes were left to trade.
Vitol won at least part of a tender to supply Indian refiner IOC with crude. IOC purchased 4 million barrels, traders said, with Vitol getting at least 2 million.
The grades in the award were not immediately clear.
Indian refiners MRPL and HPCL are also running tenders to buy oil.
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