Strong sales in the Singapore low sulfur bunker fuel market seen in the week ended July 30 are likely to continue into first-half August, as margins inch higher on the back of tightening supply in August, reports Platts.
Marine fuel 0.5% sulphur
– Traders expect the Singapore Marine Fuel 0.5%S cash differential to remain in positive territory this week as arbitrage cargoes in August are estimated at 1.5 million-2 million mt, down from 2 million-2.5 million mt in July, as the price spreads between Europe and Asia remain prohibitive to move cargoes from the West to the East.
– Supply from Asian refiners has yet to pick up after several trimmed production in the second-quarter due to bearish margins. “Supply is declining as [the] arbitrage inflow is getting lesser. But regional refiners may increase their production if the market gets strong enough,” a fuel oil trader based in Singapore said.
– In the Northeast Asian bunker market, new measures in Hong Kong to counter a new wave of coronavirus infections is expected to see bunker only calls diverted to Zhoushan, industry sources said.
Cargo ships calling at Hong Kong for purposes other than loading or discharging cargoes will be subject to 14 days’ compulsory quarantine from July 29, Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection announced on July 26.
Platts assessed Hong Kong delivered Marine Fuel 0.5%S at $350/mt on July 30, down $5/mt on the day, while the same grade in Zhoushan was assessed at $345/mt, down 4%/mt on the day.
High sulphur fuel oil
– Strong Middle Eastern demand for Singapore HSFO cargoes will support crack spreads in August, according to traders’ estimates, as Singapore’s fuel oil exports to Saudi Arabia in July totaled 135,014.05 mt, according to Enterprise Singapore data.
– The North Asian bunker fuel market is expected to remain supported as inquiries continue to stream in from shipowners that have completed scrubber installations. In Hong Kong, at least one major supplier stated that the company will not offer any HSFO bunkers in the near term amid tight supply.
– The Hong Kong delivered 380 CST bunker fuel against FOB Singapore 380 CST HSFO cargo assessments was assessed $3/mt higher on the week at $30.09/mt on July 30, Platts data showed.
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