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Singapore bunker fuel demand likely to rebound

Singapore delivered bunker fuel demand is expected to see an uptick in September, compared with August when some shipowners opted to take their bunker fuel at other ports due to fuel quality concerns, market sources quoted as saying last week.

August bunker fuel sales in Singapore had dipped 9.2 percent year on year to 3.96 million mt, and were down 1.8 percent from 4.04 million mt in July, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore data showed. Demand in the Middle Eastern port of Fujairah had also been upbeat in August, with some sources attributing this to quality concerns at the Singapore port. The Singapore bunker fuel price was also above that of Fujairah’s during the first three weeks of August, Platts data showed.

LNG shipping rates spike with no respite seen through 2019

The price of shipping liquefied natural gas (LNG) has spiked in September and is likely to remain high next year, buoyed by rising production from new plants and concerns that demand for LNG vessels will outpace supply.

The rate for vessels shipping LNG from the Atlantic Basin to Asia has jumped to $90,000 to $95,000 a day this week from $75,000 a day at the end of August, brokers and traders said. Rates, which broadly hovered around $30,000 to $40,000 a day from 2015 to 2017, have risen due to longer distances covered to transport LNG from new terminals in the United States and Arctic Russia, surging demand in China and a limited number of ships.

Russian wheat arbitrage to Asia tightens, buyers seek Argentine grain

The Russian wheat arbitrage route to Asia is tightening as Black Sea sellers avoid South East Asian destinations due to recently reinforced quality controls imposed by plant-health watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.

The result of the more vigorous application of quality controls has tightened availability of Russian wheat, particularly 11.5percent protein wheat in SE Asia, leaving more market participants interested in alternative origins such as Argentina due to more competitive pricing. The reinforced quality controls were in response to complaints from Indonesia, Vietnam and Egypt, in particular, concerning areas such as fusarium head blight, ophiobolus root rot among other quality issues. Offers for 11.5percent Argentine-origin wheat were heard in a wide range of $225-$240/mt FOB Argentina for December loading cargoes Thursday. Russian or Ukrainian 11.5percent protein wheat Panamax sized parcels for first-half December-loading, in contrast, were heard at $232/mt.

Bunker fuel premiums surge

Bunker fuel premiums in Singapore surged at the close of Asian trade Tuesday following a sharp uptick in ICE Brent crude oil futures during the Platts Market on Close assessment process, with prompt supply still seen as marginally tight.

Singapore ex-wharf 380 CST bunker fuel premiums to the Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil assessments rose $3.53/mt day on day to $11.59/mt Tuesday, while Singapore delivered 380 CST bunker fuel premiums to MOPS 380 CST HSFO assessments rose $4.03/mt to $15.59/mt, S&P Global Platts data showed. Flat price bunker fuel offers rose as front-month ICE November Brent crude futures climbed by more than $1/b between 4:30 pm Singapore time (0830 GMT) and 5:30 pm Tuesday, though buying interest was subdued, sources said. ICE November Brent crude futures stood at $79.01/b at the 5:30 pm close of the MOC process for bunker fuel on Tuesday, up from $78.50/b at Monday’s close. The front-month futures contract however, fell 73 cents/b day on day to $77.82/b at 4:30 pm Tuesday, the close of Asian trade for HSFO, and MOPS 380 CST HSFO was assessed lower by $3.78/mt day on day at $445.41/mt, Platts data showed. Broader market fundamentals were little changed. Demand remained cautious following quality concerns since July, while supply was slightly tight for prompt loading and delivery dates in recent days, sources said.

ARA diesel, gasoil stocks up

Diesel and gasoil inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp trading hub increased 1.2 percent on the week to 2.889 million mt in the seven days to Wednesday, according to PJK International data.

Compared to the same period last year, diesel and gasoil stocks were 11.6 percent higher, according to the PJK data published late Thursday. Low water levels on the River Rhine have hindered flows of 50 ppm sulfur gasoil and 0.1percent sulfur gasoil to inland Germany and northeast France, driving up ARA distillate stocks.

S Korea: growth of seaport cargo slows

Cargo processed at South Korean seaports has grown at a slower-than-expected pace this year in the wake of an intensifying trade row between the United States and China, data showed Friday.

Container cargo handled at South Korea’s largest port of Busan stood at 12.44 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the first seven months, up 4 percent from the same period a year earlier, according to the port authority. The number accounts for 57.9 percent of its full-year target of 21.50 million TEUs. To attain the goal, cargo handling must grow at a monthly average of 4.9 percent or more.

BW group to start taking delivery of new LR2S in 2019

BW Group’s first LR2 tankers will be delivered from the first quarter of next year even as the sector is facing challenges due to poor earnings, its CEO Andreas Sohmen-Pao quoted as saying last week.

The group already has a combined total of more than 40 LR1 and MR product tankers and last year placed an order for six LR2s with South Korea’s Daehan Shipbuilding and an option for an additional two units. The delivery of LR2s will commence early next year, Sohmen-Pao said on the sidelines of the Marine Money conference in Singapore but declined to divulge whether they will be fitted with scrubbers.

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