Products: Nov 11-15: FOB Korea prices for 3.5%S FO dipped on slackness in supply and demand
The differential for MR-size cargoes of 92RON gasoline on an FOB Northeast Asia basis spiked. Supply from Northeast Asia was getting thin due to increasing demand for cargoes for the Middle East and India. Formosa Petrochemicals Co (FPCC) in Taiwan sold two MR-size cargoes of 93RON gasoline loading on Dec 22-26 at a premium of over $2.00/bbl to Singapore quotations on an FOB basis. Meanwhile, a refiner in China sold an MR-size cargo of 92RON gasoline loading on Dec 10-11 from South China at a premium of above $1.00/bbl to the same quotations on an FOB basis.
CFR Japan prices for open-spec naphtha was seen at a premium in the high $10's/mt to Japan quotations by an Asian market viewer. On the other hand, both bullish and bearish factors were observed for the forward prices. While supply would increase due to resumption from turnaround in the Middle East, increased naphtha crackers in China would start up and demand would rise.
The differentials for MR-size cargoes of 0.05% sulfur gasoil on an FOB Northeast Asia basis were dragged down by weak demand. Traders refrained from active spot purchases with the end of the year coming near. Also, there were views that few players sought spot December loading cargoes for Vietnam. Under such circumstances, one South Korean oil company sold a December loading 0.05%S MR-size gasoil cargo at a discount of $1.40/bbl to Singapore quotations on an FOB basis. Also, another South Korean oil company closed a tender to sell either 0.05%S or 0.001%S MR-size cargo for end December loading on Thursday.
The differential for MR-size cargoes of 3.5% sulfur fuel oil on an FOB South Korea basis dipped on emerging slackness in supply and demand. Although fuel oil crack margins were dampening to minus $20's/mt in the Singapore market, South Korean oil companies were maintaining full operations at their refineries so far. Due to this, a part of the refineries was keeping supply for some volumes of high sulfur fuel oil. Contrary to that, the strengthening sulfur regulation for marine fuel by International Marine Organization (IMO) was coming into effect, so that buying movement for high sulfur fuel oil was lackluster. It was also cited as a bearish factor that differentials for fuel oil were going into downward trends in the Singapore market.