Singapore HSFO prompt time spreads drop to near two-month lows
9th December 2020 09:08 GMT

The prompt Singapore January-February high sulfur fuel oil swaps time spread for both 180 CST and 380 CST grades dropped to near two-month lows on Dec. 8 as cooling demand from power utilities dropped on lower temperatures, S&P Global Platts data showed.

The January-February 180 CST HSFO spread flipped into a contango of minus 50 cents/mt at the 0830 GMT Singapore close on Dec. 8 from flat on Dec. 7, Platts data showed. This was the first contango market since Oct. 12, when the front-month time spread was assessed at minus 70 cents/mt, the data showed.

That of the 380 CST grade narrowed to flat on Dec. 8 from 50 cents/mt on Dec. 7, the lowest since Oct. 12 when it was assessed at minus 70 cents/mt, according to Platts data.

"Utilities stopped buying HSFO for now," said a fuel oil trader based in Singapore.

Pakistan State Oil canceled a tender seeking 195,000 mt of HSFO and 130,000 mt of LSFO for H1 January delivery, a company source confirmed on Dec. 8. The tender closed Nov. 27. The company previously canceled a tender seeking 260,000 mt of 180 CST HSFO for H1 December delivery.

Another 180 CST buyer Bangladesh is also cutting its 180 CST HSFO purchase, market sources said. The country is expecting to import about 150,000 mt of HSFO in December, down from 200,000 mt in November, Platts reported previously.

"The demand season for HSFO has peaked off," said a second fuel oil trader in Singapore.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's unexpected offer also impacted the HSFO market, market sources said. Aramco Trading Furairah offered 380 CST HSFO in the Platts Market on Close assessment process on Dec. 4 even though Saudi Arabia is typically an importer of HSFO.

"They [Aramco Trading] are active in selling paper as well," said the second trader.

Saudi Arabia typically buys 380 CST HSFO from the West for its Red Sea region, where power plants and desalination plants are located, but it also bought from the Persian Gulf and Singapore this year because of supply tightness in the West.

Bunkerworld ,
9th December 2020 09:08 GMT