Flow Of Fuels To West Africa Expected To Slow After Nigerian Election

Written by Staff

From Bloomberg. Story by Bill Lehane.

The biggest flow of fuels including gasoline to West Africa from Europe in at least three years is poised to slow as demand ebbs after Nigeria’s presidential elections.

Oil traders booked tankers to haul an average of 514,000 metric tons of fuels a week to West Africa this year, according to lists of ship charters compiled by Bloomberg. That’s about 70 percent more than a year earlier and about a quarter of Europe’s exports. Shipments peaked about three weeks before the March 28 vote.

The surge will slow because it was caused in part by Nigeria’s government seeking to avoid gasoline shortages before the election, said Ehsan Ul-Haq, an analyst at KBC Energy Economics in London. Goodluck Jonathan lost the presidency by more than 2.5 million votes to Muhammadu Buhari. West Africa’s biggest oil-consumer has subsidized fuel for decades.

“Jonathan’s government wanted to ensure a liquid supply ahead of elections, which prompted them to import more,” Ul-Haq said by phone Thursday. “If the new government continues to subsidize gasoline then probably we might see more imports but probably not at the same level as in the first quarter.”

Read more at Bloomberg.