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Singapore marine fuel oil hits new record high

The premium of Singapore Marine Fuel 0.5 percent to the Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil assessments rose Tuesday to a new record high, driven by stockpiling demand, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Singapore Marine Fuel 0.5percent premium climbed to $102.01/mt to the MOPS 380 CST HSFO assessment Tuesday, up 49 cents/mt from Monday, Platts data showed. The premium of Marine Fuel 0.5 percent was the highest since Platts launched the assessment on January 2 this year. It last hit a high of $101.55/mt premium to the MOPS 380 CST HSFO assessment on May 15, amid strong buying interest. The Marine Fuel 0.5percent price was assessed at $497.36/mt Tuesday, up $5.18/mt from Monday. Stocks of low sulfur fuel oil with maximum 0.5 percent sulfur components increased to 3 million mt or more around Singapore as fuel oil traders prepare for the new sulfur cap in marine fuel oil from January 2020, Platts reported previously.

About 10 VLCCs were taken for storing LSFO, market sources in Singapore said. Market sources said stocks had been around 1 million mt in early March, while about three to four VLCCs had been taken for storing LSFO components. Values of low sulfur fuel oil components have been also rising in line with increasing stockpiles.

Indian govt projects sharp drop in thermal coal imports but analyst disagree

India’s Power Ministry has estimated coal demand from domestic thermal power plants at 651-million tons in 2019/20. State-miner Coal India Limited (CIL) has assured thermal power producers supply of 530-million tons during the financial year, while the balance of 121-million tons will need to be imported. However, a section of the industry maintains that the coal import volume projection for the current year is “unrealistic”, considering that it represents an almost 50percent reduction on the coal shipped in during the last financial year, which was recorded at 234-million tons.

The industry analysts say that even though coal supplies to thermal power plants by CIL, at 530-million tons, is about 8 percent higher than volumes supplied during 2018/19, import shipments are unlikely to rise by as much as 50 percent, factoring in rising demand for electricity and new thermal capacity expected to come on stream during the year.


European ports expanding low sulfur fuel oil shortage capacity

European ports have been expanding their low sulfur fuel oil storage capacity ahead of IMO 2020 — a lower sulfur cap on marine fuels, mandated by the International Maritime Organization, from January 1, 2020. The global cap on sulfur content in bunker fuel will be cut to 0.5 percent from 3.5 percent, and most bunker fuel demand was expected to shift from high sulfur fuel oil to very low sulfur fuels or marine gasoil.

The Scottish port of Aberdeen recently became the latest harbor in Northwest Europe to announce additional storage capacity to ensure supply of compliant 0.5 percent products. Peterson Energy Logistics invested GBP3 million ($4 million) into a new 4,000 cu m tank for storing marine gasoil. That tank’s installation — operations are scheduled to begin this summer — and a 1,500 cu m tank that has also been recently installed, Peterson’s MGO capacity in Aberdeen will rise to 11,000 cu m.

Earlier this month, bunker supplier Stena Oil said it will lease and operate a planned new oil products terminal at Frederikshavn, Denmark, from the fourth quarter. The terminal is designed to meet demand for new, lower sulfur marine fuels that will be compulsory from next year.

Fire at Thai port contained, over 130 taken to hospital

Flames ripped through a load of cargo, including chemicals, in Thailand’s eastern Laem Chabang port on Saturday (May 25), forcing officials to evacuate workers and temporarily close three piers, authorities said.

More than 130 people were taken to hospital, some complaining of irritation in the eyes and throat, others of a burning sensation on the skin, but there were no major injuries, according to the Ministry of Public Health. Red flames and clouds of thick black and white smoke poured out of the South Korean container ship KMTC Hongkong Co through the morning and early afternoon at pier A2, port director Yuthana Mokkao told.

Initial checks showed the blaze broke out in a load of cargo containing the chemical calcium hypochlorite, he said. The fire at the port in the industrial Chonburi province, east of Bangkok, had now been contained and officials were looking for the cause, he added. The deep-sea port is an integral part of an ambitious US$45 billion (S$61.89 billion) infrastructure scheme by Thailand’s junta known as the “Eastern Economic Corridor” (EEC) to transform the coastal area into a tech hub.

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