LONDON, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Asian imports of West African crude oil will rise sharply in September, due mainly to a substantial increase in purchases by Indian refiners as their processing capacity expands, a Reuters survey showed on Friday.
In total, Asian end-consumers have lined up 1.77 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil for loading in September in 56 full or part-cargoes, up from 1.32 million bpd in 43 cargoes loading in August.
Indian buyers, led by state-controlled refiner Indian Oil Corp. (IOC), have taken a total of 26 cargoes of West African crude loading in September, mostly from Nigeria, the highest total recorded in more than two-and-a-half years, according to Reuters data. In August, Indian buyers imported only 10 cargoes.
Chinese buyers bought a similar volume of crude for September loading, but mostly preferred oil from Angola and also took barrels from Equatorial Guinea, the survey of oil companies and shippers showed.