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Singapore middle distillates stocks dip 2% but China imports stay brisk

Singapore’s middle distillates stockpiles drew for a second week, falling by 2% week on week, but China import volumes for diesel/gasoil and jet fuel/kerosene stayed prominent, official data showed on Thursday.

Gasoil/diesel and jet fuel/kerosene inventories at key oil storage hub Singapore were at 10.134 million barrels, down from 10.349 million barrels a week ago, figures from Enterprise Singapore showed.

Jet fuel/kerosene net exports climbed by nearly 10%, fuelled by the 43% rise in total exports week on week.

Key contributors this week were Australia and Vietnam, with the latter drawing more cargoes regionally given some planned refinery maintenance there that just started.

Arrival volumes from China resurfaced in line with earlier expectations after a one week hiatus and limited the net export gains.

On the diesel/gasoil front, net exports dipped by almost 40% from a week earlier, tracking the 30% incline in total imports. Total exports dipped by 14% from the previous week.

Imports from China, South Korea, Taiwan and India were prevalent, as refiners in the said regions have been steadily selling spot cargoes for both March and April since weeks ago.

The likelihood of these trade flows continuing into Singapore would depend on whether the market structure continues to allow, as the prompt and forward paper markets are close to flat for now, one trade source said.

However, China-origin imports is expected to slow in April as majors allocate more supplies in the domestic market amid better fuel demand expectations, two China-based trade sources said, adding that current estimated loadings for April are around 20% lower from March.

Brunei imports emerged for the first time in more than five months, adding to the gains in total imports.

On the export front for diesel/gasoil, volumes were mostly heading to Indonesia to fulfil a portion of lost production from refinery maintenance until April.

More exports emerged to the African region for the week, possibly due to a lack of Russian-origin cargoes heading there – as volumes this year were at its lowest for March, LSEG shiptracking data showed.

Furthermore, Russian volumes to Africa were at its lowest since December 2022, the data added.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Trixie Yap; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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