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SINGAPORE Cash premiums for cargoes of Asian fuel oil were mostly higher on Monday, lifted by higher bids and deal values in the Singapore trading window.

Sentiment in the 0.5% very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) market has firmed recently on expectations of tightening supplies, particularly for cutter stocks, over the near term, trade sources said. Sluggish bunker demand in the Singapore hub, however, may cap gains. In the high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) market, prices have been bolstered by tight supplies that are shared among few suppliers. But the surge in prices may soon crest as peak seasonal power generation demand in the summer begins to fade, the trade sources said.

Cash premiums for 180-cst high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) cargoes jumped to a 10-month high of $6.36 a tonne to Singapore quotes.

Cash premiums for 0.5% very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) cargoes also firmed to a more than six-month high of $3.13 a tonne to Singapore quotes but this came despite an absence of cargo trades on Monday.

By contrast, 380-cst HSFO cash premiums slipped from a nine-month high in the previous session to $6.06 a tonne on Monday. While two 380-cst HSFO cargoes traded at premiums of around $8 a tonne and $7.8 a tonne at the front and middle of the 15-day trading window, respectively, a third cargo trade for a $3 per tonne premium at the back of the window helped lower assessments for the cash differential on Monday.

By comparison, 380-cst HSFO cargoes last traded in the window at premiums of $3-$3.5 per tonne on Aug. 13, data compiled by Reuters showed.

FLOATERS: Overall floating storage inventories for residual fuel in the Malacca Strait were largely steady in the week ended Aug. 18, as gains in IMO-compliant VLSFO supplies were offset by stocks of other fuel oil grades, according to data intelligence firm Kpler. Total floating storage inventories slipped by 11,000 tonnes, or 0.3% lower from the previous week, to 3.35 million tonnes.

This came as floating inventories of VLSFO rose 5%, or 122,000 tonnes, in the week to Aug. 18 to 2.48 million tonnes.

HSFO floating stocks were down 7%, or 31,000 tonnes, compared with the previous week at 386,000 tonnes, while stocks of residual fuels with unspecified sulphur contents fell 17%, or 102,000 tonnes, to 490,000 tonnes.

WINDOW TRADES: Four HSFO cargo trades were reported in the window totalling 20,000 tonnes of 180-cst HSFO and 60,000 tonne of 380-cst HSFO. No VLSFO cargo trades were reported.

TENDERS: Thailand’s ThaiOil sold a 28,000-tonne of VLSFO cargo with a maximum 0.5% sulphur content loading over Aug 28-30 to an unknown buyer at a narrow single-digit discount per tonne to Singapore VLSFO quotes on an FOB basis.

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