Asia Residual Fuel Market: Key Market Indicators This Week

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Discussions for the Singapore Marine Fuel 0.5%S July/August spread June 14 rose to 25 cents/mt compared with the June 11 assessment of 20 cents/mt says a news article from Platts, Intercontinental Exchange data showed.

Singapore LSFO market

In Singapore, some of the inertia in trading from May has continued in the low sulfur bunker fuel market, with at least one major bunker seller saying sales in the week of June 14 are likely to similarly be slow. “We can still make sales, but then we have to drop our price to the point where we make absolutely no margin, so it’s better to hold off,” he said.

VLSFO bunker sales hit

The supplier estimated his VLSFO bunker sales in May to be 240,000 mt, down from the expected 270,000-280,000 mt.

Singapore-delivered marine fuel

The premium for Singapore-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S bunker over FOB Singapore marine fuel 0.5%S fell $1.77/mt on the week to $5.16/mt on June 11, S&P Global Platts data showed.

North Asia bunker supplies

In North Asia, bunker suppliers in Hong Kong indicated that bunker demand should remain muted without many container arrivals due in the week of June 14.

Hong Kong sources bunker demand mainly from vessels calling with operational requirements after the pandemic-induced 14-day quarantine dissipated bunker-only calls at South Lamma Island.

Zhoushan market

Meanwhile, at Zhoushan market sources rated the demand there between “weak to average at best.” Barging spreads have continued to tighten as ex-wharf suppliers maintain offers of marine fuel 0.5%S at levels above the delivered prices, putting the delivered market under pressure, according to one supplier there.

“To cut losses, delivered bunker suppliers will still continue barging operations to shift the focus to selling more volumes amid slim margins”, a Zhoushan-based trader said.

The Zhoushan-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S was assessed at $524/mt, at a premium of $5/mt above ex-wharf price for the same grade, according to Platts data on June 11.

Meanwhile, ex-wharf Q3 21 term contract fixings at Zhoushan were heard to be comparable to Q2 21 volumes, sources said. However, a Zhoushan-based bunker supplier stated that the spot purchases of delivered marine fuel 0.5%S have proportionally increased against term contract liftings, and competitive offers on the spot market would prolong this trend into Q3 21.

Marine fuel 0.5% sulfur

High Sulfur Fuel Oil

  • According to ICE data and brokers’ numbers, morning discussions for the July high sulfur fuel oil viscosity spread opened June 14 at $6.75/mt, lower than the June 11 assessment at $6.85/mt.
  • In North Asia, Japan’s high sulfur bunker supply in the second half of June has “tightened slightly” because of fresh demand from power plants, but “high sulfur bunker demand is not that much, and Eneos can still supply high sulfur bunker,” said a bunker trader in Tokyo.
  • In the Middle Eastern port of Fujairah, the supply of HSFO bunker fuel at the port Fujairah is expected to face continued tightness with the exit of one supplier from the market, sources said, reducing the number of HSFO bunker suppliers there to three.
  • As most of the HSFO bunker fuel supply is tied up on a term contractual basis of 6-months to a year, there is a limited supply left for the spot market.
  • The Fujairah-delivered 380 CST high sulfur bunker fuel differential to benchmark FOB Singapore high sulfur fuel oil cargo assessments has risen $5.81/mt week on week to $26.65/mt on June 11, Platts data showed.

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Source: Platts

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