Asia Fuel Oil-380-cst cash discount widens on weak demand, ample stocks

Asian cash differentials for cargoes of 380-cst high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) extended losses on Tuesday

  

SINGAPORE - Asian cash differentials for cargoes of 380-cst high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) extended losses on Tuesday, dipping to a fresh 2021 low amid sluggish seasonal demand for use in power generation and ample supplies, trade sources said.

The HSFO market is expected to receive a boost from increased demand from Middle Eastern utilities in the hot summer months, primarily Saudi Arabia, but the ramp up in demand for Asia cargoes has so far been slow compared to last year, the sources said.

The 380-cst HSFO cash discount slipped to minus 64 cents a tonne to Singapore quotes, down from 52 cents on Monday and its widest discount since Dec. 31.

WINDOW TRADES

No 0.5% very low-sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) or HSFO cargo trades were reported in the Singapore trading window.

JAIL

A former director at BP Singapore and an executive at a Singapore-based marine fuels supplier were each sentenced on Tuesday to four and a half years in jail for corruption. 

Chang Peng Hong Clarence, a former regional director for marine fuels with BP Singapore, was found guilty last year of receiving some $3.95 million in bribes from Koh Seng Lee, an executive director at Pacific Prime Trading.

Chang was also ordered to pay a penalty of roughly $4.7 million and faces separate money laundering charges.

BALTIC INDEX

The Baltic exchange's main sea freight index rose on Monday, buoyed by an uptick in rates for all vessel segments. 

The Baltic dry index .BADI , which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels ferrying dry bulk commodities, rose by 57 points, or nearly 1.8%, to 3,240.

China's ferrous prices took off on Monday, with benchmark iron ore and steel futures hitting all-time highs amid robust demand and supply concerns. 

INDIA

India's top oil refiners are reducing processing runs and crude imports as the surging COVID-19 pandemic has cut fuel consumption, leading to higher product stockpiles at the plants, company officials told Reuters on Tuesday. 

Indian Oil Corp, the country's biggest refiner, has reduced runs to an average of between 85% and 88% of processing capacity, a company official said, adding runs could be cut further as some plants are facing problems in storing refined oil products.

Bharat Petroleum Corp has cut its crude imports by 1 million barrels in May and will reduce purchases by 2 million barrels in June, a company official said.

M.K. Surana, chairman of Hindustan Petroleum Corp, expects India's fuel consumption in May to fall by 5% from April as the impact on driving and industrial production is not as severe as last year.

THWARTED

The Saudi-led coalition said on Monday that it intercepted and destroyed an explosives-laden Houthi boat south of the Red Sea, the state TV reported. 

TALKS

Iran confirmed publicly for the first time on Monday that it is in talks with its regional arch rival Saudi Arabia, saying it would do what it could to resolve issues between them.

Some sources told Reuters last month that Tehran had promised to use its influence to halt Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, in return asking Riyadh to support the nuclear talks.

(Reporting by Roslan Khasawneh; Editing by Maju Samuel) ((roslan.khasawneh@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: roslan.khasawneh.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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