Earlier this month there was a story over at Platts that another western African country appears to be taking it in the shorts, as they used to say in some parts of the country: Angola. Platts is reporting:
Chinese refiners have slowed down their purchases of Angolan crudes after a buying spree earlier in the summer due to expected refinery run cuts, which is pushing Angolan crude differentials lower.
The sluggish trend is also due to lower refinery margins caused by falling gasoil and diesel cracks as well as oversupply.
Angolan crude is heavily dependent on China, with almost 45-50% of Angolan crude exports going there every month.
Unipec, the trading arm of Chinese state-owned Sinopec, is by far the largest buyer of Angolan crude, buying almost 35-40% of the monthly export program.
But over the past two weeks, Unipec has been regularly offering September loading Angolan crude cargoes in the Platts Market on Close assessment process.
This has been an very unusual move for the company which usually takes 13-17 cargoes a month.
In addition, some of the cargoes that have been re-offered have been term cargoes that Unipec has with Angolan state-owned oil company Sonangol. "It's quite unusual for them," a West African crude trader said.Much, much more at the link.
Angola is less dependent on the US, but even so, the trend does not look good: