Nigerian crude oil differentials were steady on Tuesday, weighed by increasing supply of similar-quality crude, while Angolan crude for March was mostly sold out. Rising supply of Libyan crude, which has recovered to close to pre-conflict levels, has put pressure on other light, sweet crude such as Nigeria's. A drop in U.S. demand for crude as some Atlantic coast refineries have stopped buying means that more Nigerian cargoes are finding homes in Europe, and trading closer to their loading dates than in the past, one trader said.
“It’s trading steadily,” he said. “This is probably just the market adjusting to a more prompt trading cycle.” Less than half of the 65 Nigerian crude cargoes due to load in March were still reported to be unplaced. Qua Iboe cargoes of Nigeria’s largest stream for March lifting were assessed around dated Brent plus $2.50 to $2.70 a barrel, in line with talks on Monday. More prompt, February cargoes are worth less, traders said.