Trading was muted on Monday and differentials for West African grades held steady or eased somewhat as high crude oil futures prices corresponded with slightly weaker physical oil prices.
* Around 10 cargoes of Angolan oil remain to be sold for export in August.
* An improvement to middle distillate margins has made for swifter sales this month, but main buyer China has sharply reduced purchases due to poor margins and port congestions.
* Traders said the Brent futures price above $40 a barrel was rendering the price of physical crude too expensive and had led to a reduction of both East Asian and European buying.
* Prices for lighter Mediterannean grades CPC Blend and Azeri began to ease late last week, as they and West African grades continue to compete with cheap U.S. lighter crudes.
* Nigerian lighter grades had also yet to gain in price, with Bonny Light and Qua Iboe still last being offered at around between 50 cents a dollar above dated Brent.