Europe fuel oil demand drops, exports slump

07 February 2014 16:31  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Northwestern European demand for fuel oil has declined, while high-sulphur fuel oil exports to Asia have slumped amid healthy supply, industry sources said on Friday.

New shipping fixtures seen this week revealed two Suezmax vessels are due to move from Rotterdam to Singapore in the first half of February, carrying a total of 260,000 tonnes of fuel oil.

Last week, around 400,000 tonnes of fuel oil were seen booked from northwest Europe to Asia. This compares with 930,000 tonnes booked the week prior to that.

"[There is] good supply [but] demand [is] poor. Nevertheless [we see] higher prices, no idea why," a fuel oil trader said.

Fuel oil is normally transported to Asia via very large crude carriers (VLCCs), which can carry either fuel oil or crude oil.

However, the industry has been more inclined to using the smaller Suezmax vessels to transport volumes east since late November due to its shorter lead time for delivery.

The typical deadweight of a Suezmax ship is about 160,000 tonnes, while a VLCC can carry roughly 300,000 tonnes.

By: Cuckoo James
+44 (0) 208 652 3214

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