Asia Fuel Oil: 180-cst HSFO differential dips but ends the week higher
Cash differentials for cargoes of 180-cst high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) fell on Friday amid an absence of deal activity and lower supplier offers.
But the cash differentials for the HSFO grade still ended the week higher, boosted by strong demand for cargoes of the fuel in the Singapore trading window as well as expectations of tight supplies and strong near-term demand.
Cash premiums for 180-cst HSFO fell to $18.66 a tonne to Singapore quotes, down from $22.97 on Thursday, but up from $12.12 last week.
Meanwhile, residual fuel inventories at the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage hub fell 4% to a six-week low, the latest industry data showed, while those in the Singapore and Fujairah hubs climbed away from multi-month lows previously.
Fuel oil stocks in the ARA refining and storage fell 53,000 tonnes to 1.13 million tonnes in the week ended Sept. 9, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global (IG) showed.
Compared with last year, the inventories at the ARA hub were 8% lower and were below the five-year seasonal average of 1.24 million tonnes.
In the Fujairah hub, fuel oil stockpiles were at a three-week high of 8.72 million barrels, or 1.37 million tonnes, in the week to Sept. 6, up from the previous week’s five-month low.
In Singapore, despite falling net imports, fuel oil inventories jumped 17% to a seven-week high of 24.15 million barrels, or 3.8 million tonnes, climbing away from a more-than six-month low in the previous week.
Three 0.5% very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) cargo trades were reported in the window totalling 60,000 tonnes. One 380-cst high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) cargo trade was reported 20,000 tonnes.
China plans its first public auction of state crude oil reserves to a select group of domestic refiners, the reserves administration announced, as Beijing looks to cool high raw material costs for manufacturers.
The releases will take place in phases and are intended for integrated refining and chemical plants, the National Food and Strategic Reserves Administration said in a statement late on Thursday. In its four-sentence statement, the agency did not specify the volume or the timeframe for the auctions.
The vague wording and the lack of detail created some confusion among market trackers over whether the auctions had already taken place, or would happen in the future, traders and analysts said.