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VLSFO crack hits 8-month high

Asia’s 0.5% very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) crack climbed to a near eight-month high on Friday as the supply outlook tightened from refiners switching to production of more higher-margin middle distillates.

China’s state-run CNOOC has booked two diesel shipments totalling about 50,000 tonnes for early November delivery into south China, a rare purchase spurred by a strong domestic diesel market, several trading sources said on Friday.

The front-month VLSFO crack jumped to $14.66 a barrel above Dubai crude by Asia close, up from $13.94 a barrel on Thursday and its highest since Feb. 26, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

The front-month crack was at more than a four-month low of $10.56 on Oct. 5.

The VLSFO crack gains came amid volatile crude oil prices on Friday, although they remained near multi-year highs.

Meanwhile, residual fuel inventories at the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage hub fell to a three-month low this week, while those in the Singapore and Fujairah hubs climbed, official data showed.

Fuel oil stocks in the ARA refining and storage fell by 72,000 tonnes to 1.04 million tonnes in the week ended Oct. 21, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global (IG) showed.
Source: Reuters

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