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SINGAPORE: The 380-cst high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) market in Asia inched higher this week as cargo loading delays from Fujairah to the East of Suez posed temporary supply constraints.

No fuel oil was loaded from Fujairah to Singapore and Malaysia after July 24, showed Refinitiv ship-tracking data as of Thursday.

Shipping operations at Fujairah are still struggling to ramp up after weather disruptions in the previous week, traders said this week.

Most bunkering slots were only available from mid-August onwards, with no prompt slots as traders await replenishment to deliver previously fixed stems. The backlogs have also kept delivered bunker fuel premiums elveated at Fujairah.

In Asia, HSFO cash premiums and margins also firmed slightly this week, with the Middle East being a key HSFO exporter.

“HSFO crack spreads in Singapore gained slightly in recent trading, but prices indicate the impact of Fujairah port outages will be short-term,” said Timothy France, Refinitiv’s senior fuel oil analyst for MENA.

The 380-cst HSFO cash differential rose $2.21 to a premium of $6.62 per tonne over Singapore quotes on Thursday.

Singapore fuel oil inventories dipped to a twelve-week low of 18.01 million barrels (2.84 million tonnes) in the week to Aug. 3, latest data from Enterprise Singapore showed.

Oil prices rose on Thursday as supply concerns triggered a rebound from multi-month lows plumbed in the previous session after US data signalled weak fuel demand.

Miner and trader Glencore said it would return an additional $4.5 billion to investors, including a share buyback of $3 billion, after reporting a record half-yearly profit mostly due to high coal prices. Belgian oil tanker and storage operator Euronav reported a sharp rise in its quarterly earnings, citing a substantial improvement in freight markets.

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