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SINGAPORE: Tight supply and strong demand pushed Asian cash premiums for cargoes of 180-cst high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) to their highest since January 2020 on Tuesday.

The cash premium jumped to $22.44 a tonne to Singapore quotes, up from $14.13 a tonne in the previous session and above the recent high of $20.48 a tonne on Aug. 27.

The higher premium came amid sharply higher bids for 180-cst HSFO cargoes in the Singapore window and no supplier offers.

Vitol raised its bids for 180-cst HSFO cargoes in the Singapore trading window to premiums of about $22 a tonne across the window, but there were no suppliers offers. Utilities across Asia and the Middle East have ramped up imports of HSFO amid soaring gas prices and rising power demand, extending the peak seasonal demand outlook beyond the summer and into at least the fourth quarter of the year.

In addition to the surge in utility consumption, the bullish sentiment has also been fuelled by competing refinery demand for residual fuel feedstocks as well as limited HSFO output, trade sources said.

Freepoint and Gunvor each bought one 20,000-tonne 0.5% very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) cargo from Lukoil. Vitol bought a 20,000-tonne 380-cst high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) cargo from Total.

Pakistan’s PSO bought a 50,000-tonne low-sulphur fuel oil cargo from BB Energy of delivery in the first half of October.

PSO was also due to finalise the results of an import tender for two HSFO cargoes, for which Max Energy and Vitol submitted the lowest offers, over the same period, but the company deferred the tender validity to Sept. 8, trade sources said. Elsewhere, India’s Reliance sold a carbon black feedstock cargo to Vitol while Nayara Energy sold a fuel oil cargo with maximum 0.1% sulphur content to BP, each of which are for late-September loading.

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