Asia Fuel Oil-Cash discounts narrow despite rise in Singapore inventories


Cash differentials discounts for Asian fuel oil narrowed on Thursday despite a moderate increase in onshore inventories, reflecting market expectations of tighter supplies through July, traders said.

“Sentiment right now seems to be leaning slightly more on the bullish side in anticipation of thinner arbitrage flows in the front month,” said one Singapore-based trader. “But I’m not entirely convinced, there’s still lots of (fuel) oil out there.”

The cash discount for 380-cst fuel oil narrowed 26 cents on Thursday to $3.25 a tonne below Singapore quotes.

By contrast, the new front month 380-cst July-August time spread slipped 25 cents to a contango of $3 a tonne below Singapore quotes.

The distant November-December spreads contract saw significant volumes on the Intercontinental exchange (ICE) with about 200,000 tonnes traded on Thursday, industry sources said.

Singapore onshore fuel oil inventories STKRS-SIN rose by 0.98 million barrels (or 147,000 tonnes) in the week to June 15 to a two-week high, the latest data from International Enterprise showed.

Inventories are now close to the record of 31.18 million barrels (or 4.65 million tonnes) hit two weeks ago.

Net imports of the fuel in Singapore stood at almost 618,000 tonnes for the week. Venezuela was the largest net importer while China was the leading export destination with 290,000 and 113,000 tonnes, respectively.

Iranian fuel oil imports continued for a fourth uninterrupted week, bringing in about 43,000 tonnes of the fuel over the past week. Persian imports since the start of the year are now up to 943,000 tonnes.

In China, May output of fuel oil increased 14.9 percent from last year to 2.29 million tonnes, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Since the start of the year, China’s total fuel oil output rose 11.9 percent from last year to 10.52 million tonnes.

– Petco, the trading arm of Malaysia’s Petronas, bought 35,000 tonnes of 380-cst high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) from the state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) for delivery at the port of Chennai between July 10 and 12 at a discount of $10.40 a tonne to Singapore 380-cst quotes.

BP recently bought a similar cargo from IOC for July 2 to 4 lifting at a discount of $8 a tonne to Singapore quotes.

– UAE’s Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is offering a total of 135,000 tonnes of cracked HSFO from Ruwais through three tenders on an free on board basis (FOB). The scheduled delivery dates are July 4-10, 15-20 and 26-31.

– France’s hardline CGT union workers have extended a strike at the Fos-Lavera oil terminal in the southern port of Marseille until Friday June 17, a union official said.

– OPEC’s full-year 2016 oil export revenues will probably fall 15 percent, down for the third straight year and possibly the lowest in more than a decade before rising in 2017, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE CASH DEALS – Two cash deals reported. For further details, please see

 FUEL OIL                                                                                   
 CASH ($/T)                  ASIA CLOSE       Change   % Change   Prev       RIC
 Cargo - 180cst                       229.81    -2.92      -1.25     232.73  FO180-SIN
 Diff - 180cst                         -3.45     0.25      -6.76      -3.70  FO180-SIN-DIF
 Cargo - 380cst                       225.38    -3.15      -1.38     228.53  FO380-SIN
 Diff - 380cst                         -3.25     0.26      -7.41      -3.51  FO380-SIN-DIF
 Bunker (Ex-wharf)- 380cst            225.58    -2.95      -1.29     228.53  BK380-B-SIN
 Bunker (Ex-wharf) Premium              0.20     0.20    N/A           0.00

Source: Reuters

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