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SINGAPORE: Sales of marine fuel in the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) Fujairah marine refuelling and oil storage hub fell 5% in December, official data showed, pulling further away from a record high hit in October as demand for high-sulphur fuels dropped.

Fujairah's December bunker sales volumes totalled 698,000 cubic meters, according to the latest data from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ), equivalent to about 668,000 tonnes, Reuters calculations showed.

Bottlenecks, congestion and sluggish bunker fuel demand at the port of Fujairah weighed on the December volumes, two Dubai-based trade sources said.

Singapore 2021 bunker fuel sales hit 4-year high; record container throughput

In 2021, Fujairah bunker sales totalled 8.17 million cubic meters, or about 7.83 million tonnes, Reuters calculations showed.

While December volumes were slightly above the 2021 monthly average of 681,000 cubic meters, they added to November's 6% decline from the 776,000 cubic meters sold in October - the highest since records began in January 2021.

Combined low-sulphur bunker sales in December were down 2% from the previous month to 589,000 cubic meters, Reuters calculations showed.

The share of low-sulphur sales to overall bunker volumes rose to 84% in December, up by two percentage points from November and slightly above the 2021 average of 83%, Reuters calculations showed. This came as sales of 380-cst high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) plummeted to an 11-month low of 108,000 cubic meters in December, down by 2% from the previous month, amid tight supplies of the fuel.

Demand of the mainstream 380-cst very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) was 1% lower to a three-month low of 561,000 cubic meters.

Similarly, sales of low-sulphur marine gasoil (LSMGO) fell 10% in December to 24,000 cubic meters while marine gasoil (MGO) volumes fell 38% from the previous month to 2,900 cubic meters.

In Singapore, the world's top bunkering hub, month-on-month marine fuel sales were 1% lower in December but ended the year 0.3% higher from 2020 at a four-year high of 49.99 million tonnes.

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