GENEVA, Oct 12 (Reuters) - West African crude oil differentials were assessed slightly lower on Friday as traders reported slow sales for the remaining November cargoes due partly to Chinese refinery outages.
Sinopec Group has resold around 4-5 million barrels of West African crude oil because of unexpected shutdowns at two refineries in South China, trade sources said on Friday.
These closures will cut the amount of crude Sinopec processes by around 8.6 million barrels for the rest of the year.
"It's slowed down quite a bit. I still have over 20 cargoes remaining," said a West African oil trader, referring to all grades.
Traders said that weak demand from the United States had also slowed sales for November just days ahead of the expected release of the December loading programmes.
U.S. imports of light, sweet crude oil - mostly West African - will fall to virtually zero by 2014 as rising domestic shale oil production and refinery closures sap demand, an executive of Total's trading arm said this week.
* Qua Iboe: Assessed at around dated Brent plus $2.00-$2.20 a barrel which was around 20 cents below levels earlier in the week.
* Traders said that only Girassol and Pazflor cargoes remained from the November programmes.
* Girassol: Last heard offered at dated plus 50 cents a barrel.
* December programmes are expected next week.
* India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemical Ltd
(MRPL) made its first purchase of Equatorial Guinea's Zafiro in a 1 million barrel parcel from trader Trafigura via tender for December loading, a trade source said on Friday.
* The cargo was heard to have sold at a premium of $2.70 to dated Brent on a delivered basis. One trader said this showed the grade was currently valued at around flat to dated Brent.
* Indonesia's Petral, the marketing arm of state oil company Pertamina, has issued a tender for the third time seeking sweet crude for December delivery. The tender closed on Wednesday with offers valid until a day later. A result was expected early on Friday.
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(Reporting by Emma Farge; editing by James Jukwey)
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Keywords: MARKETS OIL/WESTAFRICA