LONDON, April 23 (Reuters) – Refining margins for very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) continued to buttress prices for some West African crude grades, as Nigeria revised down its official selling prices for May.
* VLSFO cracks in Asia were boosting differentials for medium-to-heavy sweet oil grades from West Africa including Nigerian Egina, Escravos and Agbami, traders said.
* Though stocks of the product were high and margins were easing compared to earlier in the week, VLSFO demand also helped push up offers of Angolan Dalia to about dated minus 40 cents.
* Nigeria sharply reduced official selling prices for some of its main grades, likely due to more muted demand and a large glut of unsold cargoes.
* Traders welcomed the move, noting that last month’s decision to keep April prices steady with those of March did not reflect the deterioration in demand that Nigerian crude had faced.
* More Nigerian export plans for June emerged, with loadings of Bonny Light and Bonga crude set to increase slightly from the previous month.
* Traders awaited results of buy tenders for sweet crude which closed on Thursday, issued by Indonesia’s Pertamina, Taiwan’s CPC and Thailand’s PTT.
* OPEC is encouraging its members to engage with the U.S. administration over a proposed U.S. bill against the group, known as NOPEC, and to explain that passing the bill could put at risk U.S. interests abroad. Russia plans to raise oil exports from its western ports to 6.74 million tonnes in May compared to 6.37 million tonnes in the April export plan, the preliminary schedule showed on Friday.