HONG KONG DATA: May fuel oil imports rise 59.4% on month at 5.32 mil barrels
16th July 2020 21:11 GMT

Hong Kong imported 846,491 kiloliters, or 5.32 million barrels, of fuel oil in May, up 59.4% from April and up 2.5 times year on year, data released July 15 by Hong Kong's Census and Statistics Department showed.

"All sales of fuel oil went to ship stores," the department said in the report.

Hong Kong has no refineries and imports all of its fuel oil requirements for supply to the marine fuel market.

Over January-May, Hong Kong imported 3.19 kiloliters, or 20 million barrels, of fuel oil, up 11.3% year on year. For the first quarter, imports of fuel oil totaled 1.81 million kiloliters, or 11.4 million barrels, up 9% from fourth quarter 2019 and down 17% year on year, the data released June 29 showed.

Most of the fuel oil imported over Q1 was from Malaysia, followed by Singapore and China.

Hong Kong imported 888,766 kiloliters, comprising 48% of the total imports, from Malaysia, while another 604,351 kiloliters, or 32.6% of the total, came from Singapore. Hong Kong also imported fuel oil from the mainland China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Indonesia, the data showed.

The data also reported that fuel oil stocks at the end of Q1 were at 296,711 kiloliters, up 32.7% from three months ago, but down 27.8% from a year earlier.

Hong Kong's Q1 tank capacity for fuel oil was 522,791 kiloliters, unchanged from Q4 2019, but down 12.5% from Q1 2019, the data showed.

Asian bunker fuel demand surged in January amid the transition to low sulfur grade fuel from high sulfur grade. Shipowners bought bunker fuel for longer term in advance, concerned about security of supply, market sources said.

The city had gradually ramped up the imports of compliant low sulfur fuel oil to meet the International Maritime Organization's global sulfur cap.

However, the outbreak of COVID-19 led to excess supply in the market, pressurizing marine fuel premiums over February-May.

The Hong Kong delivered Marine Fuel 0.5%S differential to benchmark FOB Singapore 10 ppm gasoil cargo assessments averaged minus $3.50/mt over February-May, compared to an average of $89.68/mt in January, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Bunkerworld .,
16th July 2020 21:11 GMT