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High bunker stocks at Colombo spur selling interest, widens spread to Mumbai

Singapore — Prices of delivered 380 CST bunker fuel at Sri Lanka's Colombo port were lower than in Mumbai in recent weeks as sellers sought to clear the stocks held at shore tanks, South Asian traders said Wednesday.

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The price spread remained wide with Colombo bunker fuel $20/mt lower than in Mumbai, India, sources said.

The Mumbai-Colombo spread averaged minus $5.89/mt in the first quarter, but rose to an average of plus $9.56/mt in Q2, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Shore tanks at Colombo were full and so storage was limited and sellers were trying to reduce their stocks to accommodate steady flows, a Colombo-based supplier said.

"Sellers were offering at very competitive prices the past few days," he added.

Meanwhile, sellers in Mumbai were not keen to cut their prices.

"Demand is decent for us ... our [bunker] prices will depend on the trend of MOPS [Mean of Platts Singapore 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil assessments]," a Mumbai-based bunker trader said.

In the case of marine gasoil, however, prices in Colombo were hovering at a premium of $15-$20/mt to Mumbai prices since late June, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Bunker fuel prices at both Colombo and Mumbai ports were higher compared to the start of the year amid stronger crude futures.

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

--Edited by E Shailaja Nair, shailaja.nair@spglobal.com