Spot activity was subdued due to the Christmas holiday period, particularly from Chinese refiners, while fresh offers were scarce.

Traders said that Chinese buying had peaked during the previous two loading programmes – December and January – to prepare for the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iran and ahead of the Chinese New Year in February.

Asian refinery maintenance is due to start in March and peak later in the spring, which will put a dampener on demand going forward.

Angola’s state oil firm Sonangol continued to offer two cargoes of Dalia at dated Brent minus 30 cents a barrel loading Feb. 17-18 and Feb. 23-24.

Source: Reuters