Singapore fuel oil stocks rise as net imports near 1.5-year high

Singapore’s residual fuel oil stocks jumped 12% in the week ending Jan. 26, hitting a nearly five-month high, as net import volumes surged, official data showed on Thursday.

Onshore fuel oil inventories rose by 2.58 million barrels, or about 407,000 tons, to 23.78 million barrels, or 3.75 million tons, in the week ended Wednesday, their highest level since early September, according to data from Enterprise Singapore. O/SING1

The weekly rise took inventories 14% above levels from a year ago and well above the 2021 weekly average of 22.48 million barrels.

It came as Singapore’s net imports of fuel oil jumped to 1.3 million tonnes in the week ended Wednesday, up 316% from the previous week and their highest since August 2020. The weekly numbers, however, are volatile.

Net weekly import volumes averaged 660,000 tonnes in 2021.

The largest net imports were from Malaysia’s floating storage center with 383,000 tons, followed by Brazil with 179,000 tons, the United Arab Emirates with 147,000 tons and Iraq with a four-month high of 113,000. tons.

The main net export destinations for fuel oil from Singapore were Thailand with 70,000 tons, followed by Bangladesh with 25,000 tons and China with 19,000 tons.

Fuel oil flows to East Asia, most of which arrive in Singapore, closed at 6 million tonnes in January, up from December inflows of 4.7 million tonnes, according to the latest assessments. from Refinitiv Oil Research.

Inflows included 2.12 million tonnes of Western arbitrage volumes, 2.83 million tonnes of Middle Eastern outflows and 1.05 million tonnes of intra-Asian flows.

Refinitiv Oil Research said it “expects low sulfur fuel oil (LSFO) market fundamentals to remain broadly strong through at least the first half of the year, maintaining the strength with which it kicked off 2022, largely due to tight gas oil supply which limits the availability of blending components to produce LSFO.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

Steve R. Hansen