A series of tenders this week and a burst of buying pushed up Nigerian differentials up sharply on Wednesday, traders said.
The typically slow trading pattern of the first full week of the year appeared to be tailing off after two major grades changed hands at their highest since September.
Tenders by India’s IOC and Turkish refiner Tupras this week have kept offers fairly thin on the ground and potential buyers have said that any indicated prices were simply too high given that there are plenty of cargoes available for Nigerian grades.
Total was said to have bought a cargo of Qua Iboe at a premium of $1.75 a barrel to dated Brent, one trading source said. Just two weeks ago, both Qua and Bonny Light were indicated around $1.60-1.65, but met with no interest.