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The high liquidity in the Platts Market on Close assessment process for gasoil physical cargoes continued into the second trading week of March, with trade volumes crossing 5 million barrels, S&P Global Platts data showed Tuesday.

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The trades -- comprising 10 ppm sulfur gasoil -- were at 4.27 million barrels for the week ended March 9, bringing the total volume for the month to 5.8 million barrels.

S&P Global Platts had moved the benchmark to 10 ppm sulfur gasoil from 500 ppm sulfur gasoil on January 1. For the FOB Singapore assessment process, Platts publishes bids, offers and trades for FOB Straits, loading from terminals in Singapore and Malaysia.

The main buyer during the MOC process for the month-to-date period was BP, with 2.86 million barrels. Vitol and Hin Leong followed, with 1.7 million barrels and 600,000 barrels, respectively.

The most active sellers were: Winson, with 2.58 million barrels; Glencore with 1.2 million barrels; and Shell with 1 million barrels, the data showed.

Fundamentally, the ULSD market was weak on a closed arbitrage to the west, and a lack of outlets within Asia.

"There seems to be more 10 ppm gasoil supplies in the market now and going into Q2," a trader said.

The balance month March/April swap structure also strengthened from 4 cents/b on March 1 to 20 cents/b at Monday's close.

On derivatives, the open interest for front-month Singapore 10 ppm sulfur gasoil futures contract for March jumped 49.7% month on month to 39.51 million barrels, ICE data showed. Open interest for March 10ppm gasoil futures contract was up 112.29% from January.

--Teo Su Ling,
--Jing Zhi Ng,
--Edited by Pankti Mehta,