03-09-2018

Lingering marine fuel quality concerns in USGC push prices up on week: sources

Concerns about marine fuel quality continue to linger in USGC, raising pricing for Houston IFO 380 by 3.5% or $15/mt on the week, sources said.

This increase comes as prices rise steadily this year, in large part due to fuel contamination at the Port of Houston earlier this summer.

S&P Global Platts assessed IFO 380 Houston at $433/mt ex-wharf, up $3/mt on the day Thursday amid talks of tight supply. Pricing indications were talked as high as $440/mt ex-wharf Houston.

The uptick marks a change of over $40/mt since August 17, with only one day wherein the price for IFO 380 had dropped in Houston.

Pricing in Houston has trended higher year on year, with the IFO 380 price up 46.84%, or $137.50/mt, from August 30, 2017, S&P Global Platts Data showed.

Sources stated buyers were wary of purchasing in Houston following the contamination. One source, however, said “those who are confident their product is better than others will be charging a solid premium,” which is indicative of the present market.

Another source stated they had seen “some refiners selling at higher premiums to guarantee a contaminant-free product,” with some adding up to $1.60/b.

For the time being, market expected buyers to continue being hesitant, one source said.

Source: Platts

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