Asia Fuel Oil-Cash discounts widen as aggressive supplier offers weigh


Cash discounts for 380-cst fuel oil widened on Monday amid aggressive supplier offers and an absence of willing buyers, traders said.

“Offers are even lower today but there’s no takers,” said one Singapore-based fuel oil trader.

Lukoil on Monday sold a 40,000 tonne cargo of 380-cst fuel to Mercuria at a discount of $1 a tonne to Singapore quotes in the Platts window.

On Friday, three 20,000 tonne cargoes of the same fuel grade were sold at a discount range of minus 40 cents to minus $1 a tonne to Singapore quotes, industry sources said.

Similarly, supplier offers were lower on Monday with the most aggressive offers ranging between minus 90 cents and minus $1.60 a tonne to Singapore quotes, compared to plus 90 cents to minus 90 cents a tonne to Singapore quotes the previous session.

Cash discounts for 380-cst fuel FO380-SIN-DIF were assessed at minus $1.17 a tonne to Singapore quotes on Monday, 81 cents a tonne lower than the previous session.

This was despite official data showing Singapore marine fuel sales volume surged 10 percent in February to 3.846 million tonnes compared with last year, a record high for the month.

While volumes in February were 14 percent lower than in January, when a record 4.462 million tonnes were sold, traders had widely expected even weaker volumes last month as a result of a slowdown in shipping demand, which was amplified by the Chinese New Year holidays in the first half of the month.

A third trader said stronger-than-expected February sales figures were still not enough to drain excess oil from the market.

In the ex-wharf market, typically seen reflecting underlying market fundamentals, premiums of the break-bulk edged up 47 cents a tonne from Friday to $1.96 a tonne to Singapore quotes. By comparison, ex-wharf premiums averaged about $1.87 a tonne to Singapore quotes in February and $1.76 a tonne in March so far.

 FUEL OIL                                                                                   
 CASH ($/T)                  ASIA CLOSE       Change   % Change   Prev       RIC
 Cargo - 180cst                       295.47    -6.27      -2.08     301.74  FO180-SIN
 Diff - 180cst                         -1.18    -0.59     100.00      -0.59  FO180-SIN-DIF
 Cargo - 380cst                       289.54    -6.47      -2.19     296.01  FO380-SIN
 Diff - 380cst                         -1.17    -0.81     225.00      -0.36  FO380-SIN-DIF
 Bunker (Ex-wharf)- 380cst            291.50    -6.00      -2.02     297.50  BK380-B-SIN
 Bunker (Ex-wharf) Premium              1.96     0.47      31.54       1.49

Source: Reuters

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