Asia Fuel Oil-Prices under pressure, more arbitrage flows likely


Fuel oil traders largely sat on the sidelines on Thursday after prices fell and looked likely to come under further pressure later this month with more arbitrage flows from the West.

Cash prices for 380-cst and 180-cst high sulphur fuel oil have fallen by 3.5 to 5 percent in the Singapore market since last Thursday, Reuters assessment data showed.

“There has been a general downward trend in the past week, but that has masked gains which have unsettled traders,” a second Singapore fuel oil trader said.

“While volatility generally provides good trading opportunities it’s also unsettling because there is no clear direction,” the second trader added.

Just two trades were reported in the Platt’s window on Thursday compared with 16 bids and offers for 380-cst high sulphur fuel oil.

Traders estimate more than 4 million tonnes of fuel oil will arrive in Singapore from late September based on tanker chartering data.

Fuel oil stocks held by up to 13 major oil and oil storage companies in Singapore fell to a two-week low to 21.58 million barrels in the week to Sept. 14, according to data from International Enterprise (IE) Singapore on Thursday.

That was just 129,000 barrels lower than the previous week, the data showed.

Fuel oil imports totalled 922,500 tonnes, of which 716,760 tonnes came from four countries – the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Russia and Iran, the IE figures showed..

By comparison fuel oil exports totalled 590,581 tonnes with 482,895 tonnes supplied to Malaysia and China.

Fuel oil markets in South Korea and Japan were quiet ahead of holidays in both countries, traders said.


Activity on the Asia-Pacific crude oil market picked up on Thursday after PV Oil and Rosneft issued sell tenders for November-loading crude.

South Korea’s imports of Iranian crude oil nearly doubled to 1.1 million tonnes in August compared with a year earlier when
sanctions against Tehran were still in place, South Korean customs data showed on Thursday.

SINGAPORE CASH TRADES: Two Six deals reported:

– Coastal bought 20,000 tonnes of 380-cst high sulphiur fuel oil from Mercuria at $242 per tonne for delivery between Oct. 7 and 11.

– Hin Leong bought 20,000 tonnes of 380-csdt high sulphur fuel oil from Mercuria at the balance of September average prices for delivery between Oct. 11 and 15.

 FUEL OIL                                                                        
 CASH ($/T)           ASIA CLOSE    Change    %        Prev      RIC
                                              Change   Close     
 Cargo - 180cst             248.16     -6.35    -2.49    254.51  FO180-SIN
 Diff - 180cst                0.19      0.00     0.00      0.19  FO180-SIN-DIF
 Cargo - 380cst             241.98     -6.28    -2.53    248.26  FO380-SIN
 Diff - 380cst               -0.16      0.26    61.90     -0.42  FO380-SIN-DIF
 Bunker (Ex-wharf)-         245.44     -4.71    -1.88    250.15  BK380-B-SIN
 Bunker (Ex-wharf)            3.46      1.57    83.07      1.89                  

Source: Reuters

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