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Nigeria's Bonny Light crude at 3-month high on steadier exports

Nigeria's Bonny Light crude has seen its price rise to its highest levels since February, as the grade began to trade in a more regular fashion in the spot market following several months of disruption due to loading delays and forces majeures.

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S&P Global Platts on Thursday assessed Bonny Light at a premium of 60 cents/b versus the West Africa Dated strip.

The grade last hit this value mid-August and was last higher February 21, when it was assessed at 65 cents/b.

Bonny Light differentials have been depressed compared with other Nigerian crudes over the course of 2017, which traders have attributed to the unreliability factor of the grade.

Terminal Operator Shell has declared force majeure on Bonny Light loadings three times in 2017, the most recent being between September 16-October 19.

As a result, typical buyers of Bonny Light have moved to other grades. Similar grade Qua Iboe has seen its levels versus Bonny Light widen sharply over the past few months, reaching as high as a 65 cent premium just before the last force majeure was lifted in October. Qua Iboe currently commands a 20 cents premium over Bonny Light.

Bonny Light has gained ground in recent trading sessions as its loadings have been steady since arriving out of the latest force majeure and as some cargoes have been diverted to domestic Nigerian refineries, traders have said.

The December program for Nigeria's Bonny Light crude shows average daily loadings of 212,903 b/d scheduled for the month, up 64,570 b/d from November.

Eight cargoes will load during December in varying sizes, from 300,000 barrels to 1,000,000 barrels. This compares with five cargoes scheduled for November.

--Gillian Carr,
--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter,

(Corrects headline and second paragraph to show Thursday's value was a three-month high, not 10-month)