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Fuel oil: FO 180 CST 3.5%S FOB Singapore Cargo: Jan. 2 - Mar. 19, 2012


Fuel oil: FO 180 CST 3.5%S FOB Singapore Cargo: Jan. 2 - Mar. 19, 2012


Singapore fuel oil prices lag slight uptick in May cash Brent crude


Singapore fuel oil prices March 19 lagged the slight uptick in May cash Brent crude -- which settled $3.1/mt higher from its Asian close March 18.

The benchmark Mean of Platts Singapore 180 CST high sulfur fuel oil price was up just 49 cents/mt from March 18 to close at $640.52/mt March 19, while MOPS 380 CST HSFO was up $2.57/mt to $632.78/mt.


Commentary continue below...


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In continuing its marked reversal from being a firm buyer of 180 CST HSFO recently, BP for the second consecutive day, was a determined seller of the lower viscosity material during the Platts Market on Close assessment process March 19.

Led largely by BP’s offers, the cash differential for 180 CST HSFO -- to MOPS 180 CST HSFO assessments -- fell 50 cents/mt from March 18 to $2.30/mt March 19.

Sharp bids from BP during the MOC process, meanwhile, led the cash differential for the higher viscosity grade to rise 60 cents/mt over the same period to $3.46/mt.

The cash differential for physical fuel oil represents the price buyers are willing to pay for oil over and above, or below, benchmark prices published around the day a cargo loads.

Fuel oil: FO 380 CST 3.5%S FOB Singapore Cargo: Jan. 2 - Mar. 19, 2012


A firming cash differential indicates growing appetite from buyers and is typically accompanied by a strengthening in the structure of the forward curve.

Even so, despite a firming cash differential for the 380 CST HSFO, the prompt market structure for both grades of fuel oil weakened March 19.

The April/May 180 CST HSFO swap was down 50 cents/mt from March 18 to $2.15/mt March 19, while the same spread for 380 CST HSFO fell 60 cents/mt to $2.15/mt.

Meanwhile, a relatively weaker 180 CST HSFO market led the viscosity spread to fall $2.08/mt from March 18 to $7.74/mt March 19.

The MOC, which saw a total of 120,000 mt of fuel oil change hands, was for the second consecutive day, dominated by BP.

BP sold to Vitol 60,000 mt of 180 CST HSFO in three 20,000 mt parcels, while it bought from Gunvor, Glencore and Vitol 20,000 mt each of 380 CST HSFO.

In other spot market news, South Korea’s Korea East-West Power Company, or Kewpco, had bought via tender 100,000 mt of 540 CST HSFO with maximum 2.5% sulfur in two 50,000 mt parcels.

The cargoes, which are for delivery into Ulsan over April 5-9 and April 16-20, were sold by Mercuria at a discount of 50 cents/mt to the April average of MOPS 180 CST HSFO assessments, CFR, said a source familiar with the matter.


Additional Asia oil price charts:

Gasoil FOB Singapore Cargo
Gasoline Unl 92 FOB Singapore Cargo
Jet Kerosene FOB Singapore Cargo
Naphtha C+F Japan Cargo
MTBE FOB Singapore





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