Major African oil producer issues rare import tender

Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), issued a spot tender yesterday for 1 480 000 metric tons of gasoline on top of the existing term volumes it imports.

This as Nigeria has been grappling with a fuel crisis since early December and the company has struggled to meet domestic demand, according to S&P Global Platts.

“It is rare for NNPC to issue a tender for gasoline imports - and sources said the move highlights the significance of the shortages,” said Platts spokesperson, Eklavya Gupte.

Platts noted that the tender showed the company’s concern that the supply crisis might get worse.

“The standoff over imports between Nigeria’s government and private fuel marketers over pricing has been one of the reasons for the current predicament,” Gupte pointed out.

Additionally, news of the shortfall resulted in panic buying which only made the situation worse, with bottlenecks at the Port of Lagos and other import terminals.

NNPC announced its intention to sell gasoline cargoes directly to private fuel marketers in an effort to end fuel shortages. It had previously sold to private depot owners who in turn sold to marketers.

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