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Anxiety as Brazil, US, Canada cut Nigeria’s oil imports

Major buyers of the Nigerian crude oil in the North and South America have slashed their imports from the country, the latest

A new report from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has shown that major buyers of the Nigerian crude oil in the North and South Americas have slashed their imports from the country, thereby opening another window of frustration for the ailing economy.

NNPC said the monthly imports of Nigerian crude by Brazil, the United States and Canada fell to their lowest levels this year in August at 974, 577 barrels, 4.14 million barrels and 905,116 barrels, respectively.

It would be recalled that in July this year, Brazil bought 2.92 million barrels of oil from Nigeria; the United States imported 6.79 million barrels; while Canada imported about 2.99 million barrels from the country, the NNPC stated.

Again, the US, which overtook India in June as the single largest buyer of Nigerian crude, saw its import of the country’s crude rise to a high of 12.12 million barrels in February.

The report revealed that South America’s total imports of Nigerian crude plunged to 974,577 barrels in August, compared to 4.89 million barrels in July, while North America reduced its imports to 5.05 million barrels from 9.79 million barrels.

Out of the five regions buying Nigerian crude, only Western Europe and Asia recorded an increase in oil imports from the country in August.

Europe, Nigeria’s biggest regional market, increased its imports to 20.77 million barrels from 9.94 million barrels in July, according to the figures from the NNPC.

France’s imports rose the most in August as it bought 7.57 million barrels, up from 1.56 million barrels in July.

Spain bought 4.34 million barrels, up from 2.53 million barrels in July; while the Netherlands imported 3.95 million barrels of Nigerian crude in August, compared to 1.97 million barrels in July.

Asia and the Far East was the second largest regional market of Nigerian crude in August as its imports rose to 14.44 million barrels from 10.62 million barrels in the previous month. The increase was brought about by India, which bought 12.54 million barrels, up from 7.77 million barrels in July.

Nigeria’s oil exports to other African countries fell to 8.89 million barrels from 9.14 million barrels in July.

Several industry pundits have advised the government to legalise ‘illegal refineries’ and sell crude to them and in the process add to the local content and reduce capital flights in fuel importation.