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SINGAPORE: Singapore residual fuel oil inventories fell in the week ended Feb. 2, slipping 3% from a near five-month high in the previous week as net import volumes dropped, official data showed on Thursday.

Onshore fuel oil stocks fell by 697,000 barrels, or about 110,000 tonnes, to a two-week low of 23.09 million barrels or 3.64 million tonnes, in the week ended Wednesday, Enterprise Singapore data showed.

Still, weekly residual fuel inventories in Singapore were 8% above year-ago levels and were above the 2021 weekly average of 22.48 million barrels.

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This came as Singapore fuel oil net imports dropped to a five-week low of 239,000 tonnes in the week to Feb. 2, down 82% from the near 1-1/2 year high of 1.3 million tonnes in the previous week. Weekly figures, however, are volatile.

Weekly fuel oil net imports averaged 721,000 tonnes so far this year.

The largest net imports were from the floating storage hub of Malaysia at 271,000 tonnes, followed by Thailand at 68,000 tonnes, Brazil at 53,000 tonnes and Chile at 31,000 tonnes.

The top net export destinations for Singapore fuel oil were China at 88,000 tonnes, followed by India at 81,000 tonnes and Hong Kong at 9,000 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.

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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