LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - Nigeria and Angola will export
more crude to India in April where refiners are further cutting
purchases from Iran due to concerns about shipping insurance,
according to traders.
Indian refiners have bought around 50 percent more crude
from West Africa for April loading than in February, shipping
lists from traders show.
"It's to do with insurance cover and making sure they are
not exposed to risk," a trader said.
Iran's crude oil exports in March may plunge by a quarter
from a month earlier to the lowest since tight Western sanctions
came into effect in 2012.
Tight Western sanctions imposed over Tehran's disputed
nuclear programme have cut oil exports by more than half over
the past year, resulting in a plunge in the rial currency. The
country passed a three-month stop-gap budget at the weekend.
Shipping lists seen by traders point to Indian imports of
West African crude for April at around 15 million barrels
compared to 12 million barrels in March and 10 million in
February, according to Reuters data.
This is also above the 13 million barrels seen in February
The demand for Nigerian cargoes will help support
differentials, which have been under pressure from competition
from North Sea, Algerian, Libyan and Middle Eastern grades of
However, traders said the support may be short-lived.
"I guess there may be some temporary bigger demand for West
African crude from India as they sort themselves out with Middle
East Gulf producers, but it is hard to say whether this will
continue, especially if India's focus for Iranian substitutes is
the Gulf," one trader said.
(Reporting by Simon Falush; editing by James Jukwey)