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IFO 380 CST prices in the Americas jump on year on tight supplies

Bunker prices in the Americas jumped year on year Friday, trackingmovement of fuel oil prices.

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US bunker prices averaged $48.85/mt higher Friday compared with the sametime a year ago, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Sources said that tight fuel oil and bunker supplies helped supportprices.

US fuel oil stocks were 31.418 million barrels for the week that endedDecember 22, Energy Information Administration data showed Thursday, down10.972 million barrels year on year, the largest one-year decline since theweek that ended January 17, 2003, when stocks were 12.593 million barrelsbelow the previous year level, the data showed. US ATLANTIC COAST

IFO 380 at USAC ports averaged $40.30/mt higher than one year ago.

New York IFO 380 was assessed Friday at $387/mt ex-wharf, up $53/mt yearon year and the most of the USAC ports assessed by Platts.

Although, Montreal IFO 380 was $94.50/mt above last year's assessment,which was the largest IFO 380 increase of the North American ports.

Savannah IFO 380 rose $29.50/mt year over year, the least of the USACports.

USAC high sulfur fuel oil, the primary indicator of the cost of IFO 380CST, excluding storage and transportation charges, ended $51.47/mt higher yearon year.

USAC fuel oil inventories were 7.043 million barrels for the week thatended December 22, 3.138 million barrels lower year over year, EIA datashowed. USAC stocks were last lower on February 14,2014 when it was 6.992million barrels, the data showed. US GULF COAST

Houston and New Orleans IFO 380 were assessed up $56.50/mt and $55.50/mt,respectively, from one year ago.

Houston was assessed Friday at $359/mt ex-wharf and New Orleans at$394/mt.

That is the largest spread since March 9, when New Orleans was assessedat $320/mt, a $44/mt premium to Houston, Platts data showed.

The New Orleans premium to the competing port of Houston has averaged$12.84/mt since December 29, 2016.

USGC fuel oil stocks ended last week at 19.121 million barrels and 7.209million barrels below inventories during the same period last year. That isthe largest year-over-year decline on record. The EIA first released USGC fueloil inventory data for the week that ended January 5, 1990, their data showed. US WEST COAST

USWC ports inched closer to $400/mt ex-wharf this year and averagednearly $59/mt higher than one year ago, according to Platts data.

Seattle was assessed Friday at $391/mt ex-wharf, while Los Angeles andSan Francisco were assessed at $397/mt and $398/mt.

USWC ports have not reached $400/mt since December 5-11, 2014, Plattsdata showed.

USWC fuel oil stocks were 4.035 million barrels for the week that endedDecember 22, that is 52,000 barrels lower compared to last year, EIA datashowed. UWSC stocks were 3.849 million barrels for the week that endedDecember 15, which was the lowest level since the week that ended December 9,when it was 3.837 million barrels. LATIN AMERICA

In Balboa, Panama, the IFO 380 price ended at $380/mt ex-wharf on thelast assessment of the year, up 17.28%, or $56, from December 30, 2016,according to S&P Global Platts data.

Platts assessed IFO 380 up $7 at $380/mt day on day. The assessment wasthe highest since November 13, when it was at $382/mt ex-wharf basis.

Meanwhile, offers were heard heading as high as $378-$385/mt this week onthe high end.

During the Platts Market on Close assessment process Friday, Peninsulabid at $377/mt ex-wharf up to $380/mt for 500 mt of Balboa IFO 380 with aJanuary 1-8 laycan. Glencore sold to Peninsula at that level.

Tightened availability, higher demand throughout Latin America coupledwith a heightened energy complex were also factors in the price increase,sources said.

Strengthening values in the USGC also supported prices, accordingto market sources.

The spread between IFO 380 in Balboa, Panama, and Houston widened on theday to $21/mt.

The premium over Houston was also a year-on-year high with theassessments on December 30, reflecting a $20.50 spread.

The gap between the Panama and Gulf Coast assessment typically hoversaround $15/mt.

--Scott Diamond, scott.diamond@spglobal.com

--Emmanuel Gallegos, emmanuel.gallegos@spglobal.com

--Edited by Derek Sands, derek.sands@spglobal.com