Nigeria is set to load around 1.93 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil in January, according to provisional loading programmes, up slightly from planned levels last month due to higher supplies of the benchmark Qua Iboe grade.
Planned exports were 1.9 million bpd in December, although traders said actual exports would likely be higher because of three late additions to the Bonny Light loading programme.
The total volumes from Africa’s top oil producer will amount to around 60 million barrels in January, loading on 68 tankers.
The light, sweet Qua Iboe grade is set to load 13 tankers compared with the typical 11 or 12.
“Qua supplies are looking quite good but some might not be fresh production,” said a West African crude trader.
One of the January Qua Iboe tankers is likely to be a delayed vessel originally belonging to ExxonMobil from the December programme.
Still, exports are considerably below the annual peak of 2.29 million bpd planned for August, with the Bonny and Escravos grades showing lower volumes.
Despite the relatively low supplies, Nigerian oil differentials have come under pressure in the last few weeks due to weaker demand from refiners and greater availability of similar grades from Libya.
The benchmark Qua Iboe grade traded this week at between dated plus $2-$2.20, the lowest level since July.
Africa’s second biggest exporter, Angola is due to load around 1.71 million bpd in January, according to provisional loading programmes.