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Singapore bunker premiums edge higher on short-term prompt tightness

Singapore — Bunker fuel premiums in Singapore have strengthened slightly in recent days owing to supply tightness for prompt loading and delivery dates.

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The ex-wharf 380 CST bunker fuel premium over the Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil assessments rose $1.80/mt day on day to $8.91/mt at Friday's close, while the delivered 380 CST bunker fuel premium over MOPS 380 CST HSFO rose 80 cents/mt day on day to $14.91/mt at Friday's close, Platts data showed.

Most sellers were only able to offer from January 20 earliest, while those who could do more prompt offerings were targeting higher premiums, according to market sources.

"The market seems a little tighter for prompt barging and this can fetch quite a good value," a bunker trader in Singapore said.

There was also some slight terminal congestion leading to a logjam in product loading, sources said.

"But I think this is just a temporary pocket of tightness due to cargo availability as people are fulfilling deliveries," another trader said.

Meanwhile, there was a fuel quality alert from the Fuel Oil Bunkering Analysis and Advisory Service last week about specification issues with some residual bunker fuel samples it had tested.

This has however, had a limited impact on the Singapore bunker market, trade sources said late last week.

Buying interest has also been slow in recent days and this could possibly outweigh the impact of supply tightness, sources added.

"While deliveries are slightly tighter, demand [in the spot market] seems to be on the average side these days as [flat] prices are very volatile," a bunker supplier in Singapore said.

--Jeslyn Lerh, jeslyn.lerh@spglobal.com

--Edited by Norazlina Juma'at, norazlina.jumaat@spglobal.com