W. Africa Crude Asian demand keeps diffs high but backwardation weighs

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LONDON, Jan 28 (Reuters) - Swift East Asian buying ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday supported differentials for West African crude but market structure and freight costs could soon end the rally.

* East Asian buying gave a jolt to the trading cycle for March-loading crude but is due to abate next week.

* Angolan state oil company sold out of its two spot cargoes for the month, both from the Girassol stream, cargoes of which went to Chevron and an East Asian refiner. Sale prices did not immediately emerge.

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* Trading will likely cool soon, traders said, as tight oil supply has pushed the six-month market structure for Brent into steep backwardation of $6.62 a barrel, the widest since 2013.

* Rising freight rates could also soon weigh on sales, they added.

* Medium sweet Zafiro crude from Equatorial Guinea was last offered for dated Brent plus $2 while light sweet Jubilee crude from Ghana was offered at around dated Brent $2.30.


* China's crude oil imports could rebound by 6-7% this year, reversing 2021's rare decline as buyers step up purchases for new refining units and to replenish low inventories, analysts and oil company officials said. read more

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Reporting by Noah Browning, Editing by Louise Heavens

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