SINGAPORE Jan 7 Singapore ex-wharf bunker fuel
term contracts for the first quarter of 2013 were done at their
lowest level in at least two years due to subdued demand from
shipowners and a persistent supply glut, trade sources said on
The term contracts were concluded at premiums of $2.00-$3.00
a tonne above 380-centistoke (CST) fuel oil cargo benchmark
prices, according to the sources.
That is sharply lower than last quarter's term premiums of
$6.00-$7.00 a tonne.
"I don't recall seeing this range in the past two years at
least," said a bunker source.
Demand from end-users has been weak, with November 2012
bunker sales in Singapore plunging to an eight-month low of 3.27
million tonnes, official data by the Marine and Port Authority
Figures for December will be released later this week, but
industry sources estimated that total sales for 2012 would not
match the previous year's record high of 43.2 million tonnes.
"We didn't see much improvement in December, it's probably
flat or slightly lower," said a second bunker source.
Spot ex-wharf premiums have been hovering between parity to
$1.00 a tonne in recent weeks, reflecting the weak market
The Asian fuel oil market continues to be depressed by high
volumes of imports from the West, which are expected to hit 5.6
million tonnes this month.
February volumes are also looking high at around 4 million
tonnes of Western fuel oil provisionally booked so far to be
shipped to Asia.
However, sentiment could improve as a tightening European
market may limit the flow of supplies to Asia in the coming
months, traders said.
In early Monday trade, fuel oil's balance January/February
intermonth spread was at its highest in more than
two months at a $1.50 a tonne contango, Reuters data showed.
(Reporting by Lee Yen Nee; Editing by Joseph Radford)