Asia Fuel Oil-380-cst spreads at five-month high as supplies decline


Asia’s front-month time spreads for 380-cst fuel oil rose to their highest since mid-March on Friday, boosted by falling supplies after months of below average arbitrage volumes.

The Sept/Oct time spread for 380-cst fuel oil rose 50 cents from the previous session to 75 cents a tonne to Singapore quotes. The 380-cst Oct/Nov time spreads also strengthened, flipping to a premium of 25 cents a tonne to Singapore quotes from the previous day’s 25 cent discount.

“It happened a bit later than we initially thought, but after yesterday’s data we’re starting to see a real draw on inventories and that’s being reflected in the numbers,” one Singapore-based trader said.

Onshore supplies of Singapore fuel oil sank to a seven-month low on Thursday, falling by 2.16 million barrels, or about 322,000 tonnes, in the week to Aug. 25 to a total of 21.43 million barrels, or 3.2 million tonnes, the latest official data showed.

Since the start of August, onshore inventories have fallen by 5.2 million barrels, or 776,000 tonnes.

This follows three months of falling arbitrage volumes into East Asia from April to July, most of which arrives in Singapore, because of tightening supplies, increased demand and uneconomic arbitrage opportunities.

Total fuel oil flows into East Asia for July were estimated at 3.3 million tonnes to 3.6 million tonnes, well below the 2016 monthly average of 5.84 million tonnes and down by about 23 percent from the previous month, assessments by Thomson Reuters Supply Chain
and Commodities Research showed.

The effects of falling inventories were also apparent in the physical market despite no cash deals being reported in the Platts window.

Cash differentials for 380-cst fuel oil flipped FO380-SIN-DIF to a premium of 8 cents a tonne to Singapore quotes, up from a 16 cent a tonne discount on Thursday.


Fuel oil stocks independently held in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) oil hub STK-FO-ARA fell for a third consecutive week, slipping 2 percent, or 15,000 tonnes, in the week to Aug. 25 to a total of 0.83 million tonnes, according to Dutch consultancy PJK

Two very large crude carriers (VLCCs) were expected to depart for Singapore, with one on Aug. 25 and another on Aug. 31, PJK said.


– Iran will help other oil producers to stabilise the world market provided that fellow OPEC members recognise its right to regain lost market share, the country’ oil minister said on Friday ahead of next month’s meeting of the oil exporters group.

– Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih tempered expectations that the world’s major oil producers would look to freeze production next month, telling Reuters on Thursday that the “market is moving in the right direction” already.

– A two-year crisis in Norway’s oil industry may be ending and more companies are willing to invest, the head of the agency overseeing the country’s oil and gas resources told Reuters.

SINGAPORE CASH DEALS – No cash deals reported. For further details, please see

 FUEL OIL                                                                                
 CASH ($/T)                 ASIA CLOSE      Change   % Change  Prev      RIC
 Cargo - 180cst                     242.32     2.83      1.18    239.49  FO180-SIN
 Diff - 180cst                       -0.61    -0.42    221.05     -0.19  FO180-SIN-DIF
 Cargo - 380cst                     234.31     2.05      0.88    232.26  FO380-SIN
 Diff - 380cst                       -2.09     0.07     -3.24     -2.16  FO380-SIN-DIF
 Bunker (Ex-wharf)- 380cst          235.81     0.00      0.00    235.81  BK380-B-SIN
 Bunker (Ex-wharf) Premium            1.50    -2.05    -57.75      3.55

Source: Reuters 

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