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Singapore fuel inventories drop, imports from China, Cuba hit record highs

  • The lower inventories came despite limited exports, sluggish marine fuel demand and steady net import volumes, trade sources said.
23 Jul 2020

SINGAPORE: Singapore's residual fuel oil inventories plummeted 10pc in the week to July 22 to a near three-month low, official data showed on Thursday.

The lower inventories came despite limited exports, sluggish marine fuel demand and steady net import volumes, trade sources said.

Onshore fuel oil stocks fell 2.605 million barrels, or about 410,000 tonnes, to a near three-month low of 23.505 million barrels, or 3.702 million tonnes, in the week ended Wednesday, according to the Enterprise Singapore data.

Still, residual fuel stocks were up 39pc from a year earlier.

Net import volumes were down 12pc from the previous week to a two-week low of 506,000 tonnes in the week to July 22 but were below the 2020 weekly average of 669,000 tonnes. Weekly figures, however, were volatile.

The largest imports into Singapore were from Cuba at 184,000 tonnes, followed by Malaysia with 147,000 tonnes, the United Arab Emirates with 102,000 tonnes and Brazil with 83,000 tonnes.

Imports from Cuba were at their highest since at least December 2015, or as far as available records show.

Prior to this, Singapore registered only three instances of imports from the Caribbean nation.

In the latest sign of its increasing production, China for a second time on record was a net exporter of fuel oil to Singapore, sending a record 55,000 tonnes of it in the past week.

China's reliance on fuel oil imports from Singapore has begun to fade since it introduced new tax and export rules this year, encouraging refiners to ramp up fuel oil production in a boost to its bunkering industry.

Most of Singapore's fuel oil exports went to Hong Kong at 201,000 tonnes, a near one-year high, followed by 59,000 tonnes to Bangladesh and 8,000 tonnes to Sri Lanka.

Weekly fuel oil exports from Singapore have averaged 275,000 tonnes this year versus 503,000 tonnes over the same period last year.