IFO 380 CST prices in the Americas jump on year on tight supplies

Houston (Platts's)--29 Dec 2017 607 pm EST/2307 GMT

Bunker prices in the Americas jumped year on year Friday, tracking movement of fuel oil prices.

US bunker prices averaged $48.85/mt higher Friday compared with the same time a year ago, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Sources said that tight fuel oil and bunker supplies helped support prices.

US fuel oil stocks were 31.418 million barrels for the week that ended December 22, Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday, down 10.972 million barrels year on year, the largest one-year decline since the week that ended January 17, 2003, when stocks were 12.593 million barrels below the previous year level, the data showed. US ATLANTIC COAST

IFO 380 at USAC ports averaged $40.30/mt higher than one year ago.

New York IFO 380 was assessed Friday at $387/mt ex-wharf, up $53/mt year on year and the most of the USAC ports assessed by Platts.

Although, Montreal IFO 380 was $94.50/mt above last year's assessment, which was the largest IFO 380 increase of the North American ports.

Savannah IFO 380 rose $29.50/mt year over year, the least of the USAC ports.

USAC high sulfur fuel oil, the primary indicator of the cost of IFO 380 CST, excluding storage and transportation charges, ended $51.47/mt higher year on year.

USAC fuel oil inventories were 7.043 million barrels for the week that ended December 22, 3.138 million barrels lower year over year, EIA data showed. USAC stocks were last lower on February 14,2014 when it was 6.992 million barrels, the data showed. US GULF COAST

Houston and New Orleans IFO 380 were assessed up $56.50/mt and $55.50/mt, respectively, from one year ago.

Houston was assessed Friday at $359/mt ex-wharf and New Orleans at $394/mt.

That is the largest spread since March 9, when New Orleans was assessed at $320/mt, a $44/mt premium to Houston, Platts data showed.

The New Orleans premium to the competing port of Houston has averaged $12.84/mt since December 29, 2016.

USGC fuel oil stocks ended last week at 19.121 million barrels and 7.209 million barrels below inventories during the same period last year. That is the largest year-over-year decline on record. The EIA first released USGC fuel oil inventory data for the week that ended January 5, 1990, their data showed. US WEST COAST

USWC ports inched closer to $400/mt ex-wharf this year and averaged nearly $59/mt higher than one year ago, according to Platts data.

Seattle was assessed Friday at $391/mt ex-wharf, while Los Angeles and San Francisco were assessed at $397/mt and $398/mt.

USWC ports have not reached $400/mt since December 5-11, 2014, Platts data showed.

USWC fuel oil stocks were 4.035 million barrels for the week that ended December 22, that is 52,000 barrels lower compared to last year, EIA data showed. UWSC stocks were 3.849 million barrels for the week that ended December 15, which was the lowest level since the week that ended December 9, when it was 3.837 million barrels. LATIN AMERICA

In Balboa, Panama, the IFO 380 price ended at $380/mt ex-wharf on the last assessment of the year, up 17.28%, or $56, from December 30, 2016, according to S&P Global Platts data.

Platts assessed IFO 380 up $7 at $380/mt day on day. The assessment was the highest since November 13, when it was at $382/mt ex-wharf basis.

Meanwhile, offers were heard heading as high as $378-$385/mt this week on the high end.

During the Platts Market on Close assessment process Friday, Peninsula bid at $377/mt ex-wharf up to $380/mt for 500 mt of Balboa IFO 380 with a January 1-8 laycan. Glencore sold to Peninsula at that level.

Tightened availability, higher demand throughout Latin America coupled with a heightened energy complex were also factors in the price increase, sources said.

Strengthening values in the USGC also supported prices, according to market sources.

The spread between IFO 380 in Balboa, Panama, and Houston widened on the day to $21/mt.

The premium over Houston was also a year-on-year high with the assessments on December 30, reflecting a $20.50 spread.

The gap between the Panama and Gulf Coast assessment typically hovers around $15/mt.

--Scott Diamond,

--Emmanuel Gallegos,

--Edited by Derek Sands,

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