SINGAPORE DATA: Residue stocks fall to over 4-month low on firm bunker demand
6th August 2021 08:14 GMT

Singapore's commercial onshore residue stocks fell 2% week on week to 22.438 million barrels, or 3.53 million mt, in the week to Aug. 4, the Enterprise Singapore data released late Aug. 5 showed, amid firm bunker fuel demand.

The stocks were at its lowest since March 24, when 22.311 million barrels of stocks were recorded, the data showed.

The Singapore market has been seeing strong bunker fuel demand after crude oil prices came off, as shipowners, who were holding back their purchases, returned to the market.

"Buyers were capitalizing on the dip in the flat price for both HSFO and LSFO over the week and a lot of enquiries were heard. The prices enticed them to shop around and meet their requirements," a Singapore-based bunker trader said.

The front-end October ICE Brent crude oil dropped to $69.97/b as at the Asian close on Aug. 5, the lowest since May 31, Platts data showed.

The strong freight market for container ships and bulk carriers is also helping bunker demand to stay firm.

"Our bunker purchase this year will be similar to last year, or slightly higher, than last year," a source at an Asian shipping company said.

Singapore fuel oil imports rise on week

Singapore's fuel oil imports rose 24.6% to 854,467 mt in the week of July 29-Aug. 4, the data showed.

Imports from the Middle East saw the biggest week-on-week jump in the week to Aug. 4, surging from 4 mt to 221,967 mt, according to the data, while UAE was the sole exporter from the Middle East. The Middle East is a source of high sulfur fuel oil cargoes, market sources said.

There have been no imports recorded from Iraq since the week ended July 7, which is one of the largest exporters of fuel oil to Singapore among the Middle Eastern countries.

On the other hand, imports from Asia dropped 32.4% on the week to 373,844 mt over July 29-Aug. 4, as imports from Malaysia plunged 40.6% on the week to 268,089 mt, the Enterprise Singapore data showed.

Bunker suppliers typically transport finished bunker fuel from floating storage parked at Tanjung Pelepas in Malaysia to onshore tanks in Singapore before delivery to ships, market sources said.

Imports from Brazil soared 52.1% from a week earlier to 97,143 mt in the week to Aug. 4, the data showed. Brazil is the biggest supplier of low sulfur fuel oil components to Asia, market sources said.

Even though, the imports were higher in the week of July 29-Aug. 4 from a week earlier, traders said the inflow of arbitrage cargoes from the West to the Singapore/Malaysia area in August is likely lower at around 1.5 million-1.8 million mt than July when 2.1 million-2.2 million mt had arrived.

Meanwhile, Singapore exported 418,752 mt of fuel oil over July 29-Aug. 4, down 29.3% on the week, the data showed.

Singapore recorded no exports to China in the week, compared with 225,611 mt exported in the week of July 22-28, the data showed. Exports to Hong Kong surged to 103,927 mt over July 29-Aug. 4, up from 38,011 mt a week earlier,

while Hong Kong saw a slight recovery in bunker demand after the 14-day quarantine rule was lifted on June 15.

Platts ,
6th August 2021 08:14 GMT