Asia’s 0.5% very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) market complex was largely steady on the final trading day of July but ended the week slightly higher amid a tighter supply outlook until at least the second-half of August, trade sources said.
While bunkering demand has been relatively steady, firm demand feedstock demand from refiners and utilities have helped firm the fuel oil market in recent weeks.
Residual fuel inventories at the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage hub rose to a two-week high this week, while those in the Singapore and Fujairah hubs fell, official data showed.
Fuel oil stocks in the ARA refining and storage rose by 47,000 tonnes to 1.07 million tonnes in the week ended July 29, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global (IG) showed.
The fuel oil inventories were 5% higher amid limited export opportunities.
Compared with last year, however, the inventories at the ARA hub were 26% higher and below the five-year seasonal average of 1.21 million tonnes.
In the Fujairah hub, fuel oil stockpiles were 5% lower to a three-week low of 11.21 million barrels, or 1.77 million tonnes, in the week to July 26 amid elevated fuel oil exports.
In Singapore, fuel oil inventories fell 6% to a three-week low of three-week low of 22.9 million barrels, or 3.61 million tonnes, as net imports plummeted to their lowest in more than three years.
No VLSFO or high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) cargo trades were reported in the Singapore trading window.
A total of 820,000 tonnes of fuel oil cargoes have traded in the window in July including 360,000 tonnes of VLSFO and 460,000 tonnes of HSFO.
In June, a total of 360,000 tonnes of fuel oil were traded including 200,000 tonnes of VLSFO and 160,000 tonnes of HSFO.