Oil ended nearly 3% higher on Tuesday as hopes that a COVID-19 vaccine is on the horizon outweighed worries about a drop in fuel demand from new lockdowns to contain the virus.
Prices were also boosted by comments from Saudi Arabia’s energy minister, that the OPEC+, could tweak their supply pact and delay easing of cuts in January if demand slumps before the vaccine is available.
However, the resurgence of Covid-19 cases headed into winter and a swift return of Libyan crude production led US bank Goldman Sachs to lower its oil price forecasts for next year. The bank cut its 2021 forecast for Brent to $55/bl from $59.4/b.
A lack of demand in Europe continued to put a strain on the Nigerian December schedule and it was unclear what would happen to unsold November-loading cargoes, with sellers likely to seek storage options.
However, Asian state-run refiners continued to seek December and January-loading west African crude.
State-controlled HPCL circulated a tender seeking 2mn bl of crude supplies loading on 1-10 January, listing a range of west African grades as potential options. Offers can also be made on a delivered basis with shipments arriving at Visakhapatnam on 1-10 February. The tender will close on 11 November.
Indonesia’s state-owned Pertamina also tendered to buy 950,000 bl of Nigerian crude, seeking cargoes to be delivered at Balikpapan on 14-26 January. Nigeria’s Qua Iboe, Bonny Light, Escravos, Okwuibome and Pennington were listed as viable options.
The Prices are as follows:
(1)Dated Brent =$41.715/bbl (0.405)
(2)Bonny Light =$42.455/bbl (0.510)
(3)QuaIboe =$42.405/bbl (0.510)
(4)Forcados =$42.555/bbl (0.510)
Premium unleaded pms= $382.50/mt (6.75)
0.1% Gasoil= $343.00/mt (6.25)
Clean Tanker freight UKC-WAF= $13.34/mt (1.25 )