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Lured by discounts, U.S. East Coast refiners snatch up Brazilian crude

U.S. East Coast refiners are on a Brazilian crude buying spree, market sources say, displacing West African cargoes as producers such as Royal Dutch Shell and Norway’s Statoil sell rising output from fields off Brazil’s coast.

The uptick in Brazilian imports into the region comes as the only Latin America producer to increase output in recent years seeks markets close to home for the oil it is pumping from the massive offshore subsalt oilfields under development.

February deliveries of Brazilian crude into the U.S. East Coast are expected to hit 2.4 million barrels, or 86,000 barrels-per-day, the highest monthly volume since at least 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration and Reuters shipping data.

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