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Asia Fuel Oil-VLSFO cash differential gains; Chinese imports rise

Asia’s low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) market gained on Monday amid a flurry of deals at the trading window and upbeat import data from China.

Cash premiums for VLSFO were up about $1 at $8 a metric ton. Premiums for high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) remained little changed as trading was scanty. Cash differential for 180-cst HSFO was pegged at a premium of $8.85 a ton, while the premium for 380-cst traded at $7.43 per ton.

China’s imports of fuel oil rose 10% in April from a year earlier to 2.93 million metric tons, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday, the highest level since at least 2020, according to Reuters’ records.

The April imports, which equate to about 620,180 barrels per day, were 48% higher than in March, as traders brought in more shipments from Venezuela and Iran, according to trading sources familiar with the transactions.

OTHER NEWS

– Iran-backed Houthi militants on Saturday hit a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker off Yemen’s Red Sea coast with an anti-ship missile but the crew was able to restore power and maintain course, the U.S. military said.

– The Importpischeprom oil products terminal at Russia’s Black Sea port of Novorossiisk resumed fuel loadings on May 18 after suspending operations following a drone attack a day earlier, according to industry sources and LSEG data.

– South Korean petrochemical producers are maximising the use of cheaper feedstock liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at their crackers, reducing naphtha demand from the region’s top importer, according to industry officials and government data.

WINDOW TRADES O/AS

– 180-cst HSFO: No trade
– 380-cst HSFO: No trade
– 0.5% VLSFO: Four trades
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mohi Narayan; Editing by Ravi Prakash Kumar)

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