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AMERICAS BUNKERS: Key market indicators April 12-16

Spot retail marine fuel pricing in the Americas was mixed but mostly bearish the week of April 5-9, as demand fundamentals remained largely unchanged and liquidity was limited in some ports.

Latin America

Prices for Latin American bunkers started the week without a clear trend, looking at the rise in global oil markers but with mixed local fundamentals.

Prices in Panama for marine fuel 0.5%S and marine gasoil increased slightly from April 5 to April 9, mostly pressured by oil markers, as demand in that hub was described as average or moderately firming. The 0.5%S in Balboa rose $2 to $486/mt ex-wharf during the period, while marine gasoil advanced $1 to $571/mt ex-wharf.

In Brazil, the 0.5%S recovered from a midweek fall to end without changes at $479/mt at the port of Santos. Marine gasoil rose $11 to $646/mt, but it was expected to drop in the week starting April 12 as state-led oil company Petrobras reduced diesel prices April 10 at the refinery gate.

Availability constraints were heard among some suppliers in Ecuador and Peru for prompt deliveries of 0.5%S. In Callao, the fuel rose $4 to $554/mt, while in Guayaquil, it fell $5 to $547/mt. “Tight avails until the [April 17],” a bunker source said on Peru’s market.

In Colombia, where sources said demand is still weak, 0.5%S fell $10 (2%) to $500/mt in Cartagena. In Valparaiso, Chile, refiner pricing changes led to an $11 (1.8%) retreat to $594/mt.

In Buenos Aires, there was no change in 0.5%S pricing, which ended the week at $505/mt. However, the Argentinian port has witnessed a tug of war between a much firmer demand and strong competition, with one source saying April sales could more than double those seen in February.

“Requests are raining,” a market source said. “There is a lot of demand due to grains exports.”

North America East, West coasts

On North America’s Atlantic Coast, spot 0.5%S Marine Fuel bunkers pricing inched up $1 for New York and held stable in Philadelphia to be assessed at $470/mt ex-wharf and $475/mt ex-wharf, respectively.

In Montreal, however, spot 0.5%S pricing came off $11 (2.1%) to end the week at $524/mt ex-wharf, with delivered-by-truck offers and indications talked lower amid “low” volume and activity, a source said.

On the West Coast, similar sentiment emerged as spot activity was muted, with a source saying the Los Angeles market had been dealing with a “pretty slow week.”

Spot 0.5%S pricing in Los Angeles shed flat at $494/mt delivered following slight intraweek movement aligned with crude-futures trends and direction in Asia.

Retail MGO pricing in Los Angeles inched up $3 (0.5%) on the week to last be assessed at $565/mt ex-wharf.

US Gulf Coast

On the US Gulf Coast, spot pricing moved lower on pressure from crude and diesel futures, while weak demand continued to lead some suppliers to lower offers in the interest of destocking and maintaining barge activity, sources said.

In Houston, spot 0.5%S pricing came off $4 (0.9%) from April 5-9 to close the week at $463/mt ex-wharf, and the New Orleans assessment fell $7 (1.5%) to price at $475/mt ex-wharf.

The declines in MGO were more pronounced, with the motivated sellers lowering offers more than what was seen in 0.5%S trends, sources said.

MGO spot pricing in Houston fell $28 (5.1%) on the week to $523/mt ex-wharf, as values were talked in a wide range beginning midweek. By end of the week, offers on the lower end of the range were continuing to decline as sources looked to capture what little buy interest was out there, a source said.

“It’s stupid low numbers,” a local source said of isolated suppliers going low on offers. “[They] need to push barrels apparently. Not much demand, so they are just gobbling up all [the inquiries] they can.”
Source: Platts

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