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Asia Fuel Oil-Cash differentials inch lower; Singapore stockpiles at 3-week high


Cash differentials for fuel oil inched lower on Thursday amid ample inventories, with data showing onshore stockpiles at Singapore rebounded to a three-week high.

The stock build was led by an uptick in direct Russia-origin volumes, which nearly tripled week-on-week to more than 382,000 metric tons, according to Enterprise Singapore data.

High sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) price benchmarks have been under pressure this month as cargoes remain readily available in the East of Suez region, with ample volumes of Russian and Venezuelan oil hovering in the supply pool, trade sources said.

The spot cash differential for 380-cst HSFO widened day-on-day to a discount of $3.81 a metric ton on Thursday, while margins held between discounts of $13 to $13.50 a barrel.

Benchmarks for the very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) market also eased on Thursday, with cash differentials dipping to a premium of $7.04 a ton. Meanwhile, cracks closed at premiums of $14 to $14.50 a barrel.

In tenders, Thailand’s PTT offered 35,000 tons of VLSFO for loading in mid-March. Bids for submission close on Thursday and are valid until Friday, sources said.


– Singapore inventories climbed 16.2% to 23.36 million barrels (3.68 million metric tons) in the week to Feb. 21, latest data from Enterprise Singapore showed.


– Oil prices rose on Thursday amid expectations that demand in the U.S. will improve as refineries try to return to service after outages and as the dollar weakened.

– U.S. oil refiners this quarter have extensive outages that will cut overall plant utilization rates to the lowest levels in the past two years, according to executive comments and analysts’ forecasts.

– A cargo ship abandoned four days ago in the Gulf of Aden after it was hit by missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthis is still floating despite taking in water, and could be towed to nearby Djibouti, industry sources said.

– Three of Venture Global LNG’s major customers have asked U.S. energy regulators to address the LNG developer’s request for a one-year permit extension to complete a Louisiana export facility, signaling their intention to voice concerns.


– 180-cst HSFO: No trade
– 380-cst HSFO: One trade
– 0.5% VLSFO: No trade
Source: Reuters

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