• Sunday, April 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Angolan Nemba crude hits largest premium in two years

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The Angolan Nemba crude, premium to heavier grade Hungo crude, has hit a near two year high as the naphtha-rich grade gains support from soaring Nigerian crude values, Platts has said.

Platts assessed Nemba at Dated Brent plus $0.60/barrel and Hungo at Dated Brent minus $2.12/b, resulting in a $2.72/b spread. It is the widest since April 21, 2011.

According to Platt, “It’s just been the Nigerian market, it’s very strong,” a source said of Nemba’s strength.

Naphtha-rich Nemba is the lightest Angolan grade assessed by Platts, and its composite yield is comparable to some Nigerian grades. Hungo is the second-heaviest Angolan grade assessed by Platts.

Nigerian differentials have been on a sharply bullish run through 2013-to-date on solid demand, with values hovering in recent weeks at near two-year highs. Nemba’s upward trajectory has been particularly stark.

According to Platts, since November 14, when Nemba was assessed at Dated Brent minus $1.455/b, its differential has steadily climbed in the subsequent months, gaining a cumulative $2.05/b. During the same period, Hungo’s value has varied little.

But bearish pressures are building, sources said, from a combination of weakening refining cracks, and the near-completion of May program buying, leaving a decent overhang. Naphtha cracks in particular have been exceptionally weak, falling to the lowest level this week since July 2012.

“Margins have collapsed,” a source said. “The whole complex is turning down, you can’t deny that.” But WAF crude differentials have so far held steady, sources said.