North Sea crude markets held steady mid last week, as a combination of high freight rates and absences at industry functions subdued trade. Dated Brent was assessed near last deal done at April Brent +95 cts, with Brent CFD swaps for this week also in that area. Next weeks CFDs
are seen around April Brent +90 cts.
Institute of Petroleum week in London is keeping trade to a minimum, as are high freight rates caused
by an exodus of older vessels out of Europe in the wake of the Erika spillage off France.
Worldscale rate increases
of up to 45 percent for North Sea trading Aframax tankers to W200 have been confirmed this week as big oil companies
are not prepared to take the risk of chartering old ships.
West African crude
differentials were steady to lower amid very thin trade. Late last Monday, a Qua Iboe cargo for March 9-10 dates was sold at 32 cents under dated Brent, some 10 cents lower than Monday's assessments.