March 12, 2020 / 9:12 AM / 23 days ago

Singapore fuel oil stocks slip from 9-month high as marine fuel demand picks up

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore’s residual fuel oil inventories fell 4% in the week ended March 11, official data showed on Thursday, as a gradual improvement in marine fuel demand at the world’s top bunkering hub and below average net import volumes helped stocks pull away from a nine-month high.

Onshore fuel oil stocks fell by 1.137 million barrels (about 179,000 tonnes) to 24.981 million barrels, or 3.934 million tonnes, from the previous week, data from Enterprise Singapore showed.

Residual fuel inventories in the previous week were at 26.118 million barrels, or 4.113 million tonnes.

Net imports were at a two-week high of 785,000 tonnes, 13% higher than the previous week, but were below the 2020 weekly average of 891,000 tonnes. Weekly figures, however, are volatile.

Residual fuel stocks were 13% higher than the year-ago period.

Demand for marine fuels in the Singapore bunkering hub has improved slightly this month after a sharp slowdown in February on seasonal factors and low shipping activity due to the coronavirus outbreak.

For the week, most of Singapore’s net exports of fuel oil were to the Philippines, at 37,000 tonnes, followed by exports of 35,000 tonnes to India and 33,000 tonnes to South Korea.

The largest net imports into Singapore were Malaysia’s 334,000 tonnes, followed by Iraq with 95,000 tonnes, Algeria with 75,000 tonnes and the United Arab Emirates with 72,000 tonnes.

Singapore fuel oil stocks have averaged at 23.23 million barrels, or 3.658 million tonnes, per week so far this year, compared with 21.081 million barrels, or 3.32 million tonnes, in 2019.

Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by Devika Syamnath

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