Indian state-owned refineries are beginning to abandon risky Nigerian crude oil for Malaysian crude.
Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited on Monday issued a spot tender to purchase several Malaysian light sweet crude grades, raising expectations that more Indian end-users could switch their focus to Southeast Asian supplies, Platts reported.
BPCL was said to be seeking up to one million barrels of various Southeast Asian light sweet crudes, including Malaysia’s Miri Light, Labuan, Tapis, Kikeh, Kimanis and Bintulu as well as Brunei’s Seria Light and Champion crudes for loading over September 11-20, according to an official tender notice seen by S&P Global Platts.
According to the latest shipping fixtures seen by Platts, India Oil Corporation fixed Olympic Sky and Seafalcon to move a total of about 1.2 million barrels of Malaysian Labuan crude for loading in July, while BPCL fixed Nordic Jupiter, Mare Siculum, Shah Deniz and Pavino Spirit to move around one million barrels each of light sweet Kikeh and Kimanis crudes for loading in July.
The tender closes July 22, with validity until July 26. The latest spot tender raised a few eyebrows in the Asia-Pacific sweet crude market, as the Indian state-owned company does not regularly seek Malaysian and Bruneian crude grades in the spot market.
However, BPCL’s latest move was seen as necessary, as the procurement of any Nigerian crude grades would be a big risk amid ongoing production hiccups caused by militant attacks in the Niger Delta, a company source said Tuesday.
“BPCL, like many other Indian state-run companies, prefers to take Nigerian light sweet crudes like Qua Iboe and Bonny Light. Those are the number one choices,” the source said, adding that “when production [of light sweet Nigerian grades is] in doubt, the next best option would be Malaysian (grades).”
Late last week, Mobil Producing Nigeria, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, said Nigerian crude grade, Qua Iboe, had been placed under force majeure and exports were halted, while Italian company Eni confirmed earlier this month that 4,000 barrels per day of oil equivalent of equity production had been shut in following an attack claimed by Nigerian militants in the Niger Delta.
Nigerian militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, said Friday that it would not permit foreign oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region to carry out repairs on bombed oil pipelines, threatening more devastating attacks on any repaired facility.
“There is no guarantee the Nigerian crudes will load and set sail safely. It’s very risky,” said a Singapore-based sweet crude trader.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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