Shipments of West African oil to Asia are set to hit a two-month high in October as Chinese
refineries scramble for alternatives to Iranian crude before U.S. sanctions take effect on Nov. 4.
Other buyers across Asia and Europe have also said they would cut back on purchases of Iranian oil, unleashing a burst of demand for West African and other crudes rich in distillates. Loadings for Asia will rise to 2.52 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, equivalent to 75 percent of total output from Angola, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Ghana and Equatorial Guinea, based on Reuters calculations, shipping brokers and Refinitiv Eikon data.
This compares to September’s 2.27 million bpd, which was almost 70 percent of regional output. China has been the main driver for Asian demand before the implementation of U.S. sanctions that analysts estimate will remove 500,000 bpd to 2 million bpd of Iranian oil from the market. Chinese imports from West Africa are set to rise to a record 1.94 million bpd, or 60 cargoes, in October from 1.5 million bpd, or 45 cargoes, in September.