A slightly larger-than-normal overhang of around 20 cargoes of Nigerian crude remain for June loading, with July programmes expected sometime next week.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday that U.S. imports from Nigeria fell by 351,000 bpd in the week to May 10, to 95,000 bpd, while imports from Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Colombia rose.
Stocks had increased on the U.S. Gulf Coast, while U.S. West Coast oil imports climbed 238,000 bpd to 1.37 million bpd. Atlantic coast imports also rose.
European demand for Nigerian crude is seen to be especially high given reduced exports of competing grades from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, though purchases of such varieties closer to home proceed on a different timescale than for West African oil.
But higher exports of U.S. oil are predicted to somewhat dampen European demand for Nigerian crude in the near future.
Energy majors were heard to be ratcheting up offers for West African grades, with Nigerian Qua Iboe being offered at an all-time high of $2.70, but buyers said prices were too high.