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SINGAPORE: Asia’s 0.5percent very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) market complex slumped on Thursday as inventories in the Singapore bunkering and trading hub climbed to near multi-year highs earlier in May.

Front-month VLSFO time-spreads dipped into contango of 25 cents per tonne on Thursday, down from a backwardation of 25 cents in the previous session, Refinitiv data in Eikon showed.

Both the front-month VLSFO crack and cash differential also fell to a more than one-week low. Singapore residual fuel oil inventories climbed 5percent in the week to June 9, extending sharp gains from the previous week, as export volumes plunged, official data showed on Thursday.

Onshore fuel oil stocks rose by 1.32 million barrels, or about 209,000 tonnes, to a five-week high of 26.92 million barrels, or 4.24 million tonnes, Enterprise Singapore data showed.

The fuel oil stock was near a more than four-year high of 27.23 million barrels recorded at the start of May.

Compared to the same period last year, the residual fuel stocks were 5percent higher and well above the 2021 weekly average of 23.2 million barrels.

Singapore fuel oil exports were at a four-week low of 182,000 tonnes in the week to June 9, down 37percent from a 2021 weekly average of 289,000 tonnes.

This helped lift net import volumes into Singapore 84percent from the previous week to a seven-week high of 946,000 tonnes, which were well above the 2021 weekly average of 758,000 tonnes. Weekly figures, however, are volatile.

Fuel oil flows into east Asia were assessed at between 5 million tonnes and 5.5 million tonnes in June, steady-to-higher from the 5.15 million tonnes in May and firmly higher from the 2020 monthly average of 4.82 million tonnes, assessments by Refinitiv Oil Research on Wednesday showed.

No VLSFO or high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) cargo trades were reported in the Singapore trading window.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has resumed exports of straight run fuel oil (SRFO) following an outage last week at a unit in its 835,000 barrels per day Ruwais plant, five trade sources said.

ADNOC has sold at least four SRFO cargoes totalling about 320,000 tonnes to buyers including two cargoes to Chevron and one each to Vitol and Aramco Trading Company, according to three of the trade sources, ship broker reports and shiptracking data in Eikon.

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