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SINGAPORE: Singapore residual fuel oil inventories jumped 12% in the week ended Jan. 26, rising to a near five-month high, as net import volumes surged, official data showed on Thursday.

Onshore fuel oil stocks climbed by 2.58 million barrels, or about 407,000 tonnes, to 23.78 million barrels or 3.75 million tonnes, in the week ended Wednesday, their highest since early September, Enterprise Singapore data showed.

The weekly climb lifted inventories to 14% above year-ago levels and well above the 2021 weekly average of 22.48 million barrels.

Asia Distillates: Jet fuel cash premiums rise

This came as Singapore fuel oil net imports surged to 1.3 million tonnes in the week ended Wednesday, up 316% from the previous week and their highest since August 2020. Weekly figures, however, are volatile.

Weekly net import volumes averaged 660,000 tonnes in 2021.

The largest net imports were from the floating storage hub of Malaysia at 383,000 tonnes, followed by Brazil at 179,000 tonnes, the United Arab Emirates at 147,000 tonnes and Iraq at a four-month high of 113,000 tonnes.

The top net export destinations for Singapore fuel oil were Thailand at 70,000 tonnes, followed by Bangladesh at 25,000 tonnes and China at 19,000 tonnes.

Fuel oil flows into East Asia, most of which come to Singapore, closed at 6 million tonnes in January, higher from December's inflows of 4.7 million tonnes, the latest assessments by Refinitiv Oil Research showed.

The inflows included 2.12 million tonnes of western arbitrage volumes, 2.83 million tonnes of Middle East outflows and 1.05 million tonnes of Intra-Asia flows.

Refinitiv Oil Research said it "expects low-sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) market fundamentals to largely stay strong into the first half of the year at least, retaining the strength that it kicked off 2022 with, largely due to tightening gasoil supply that limits the availability of blending components to produce LSFO."

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