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Russian fuel oil: What’s Happening?


As long as Russian barrels continue to flood the market, high sulfate fuel oil cracks in Asia were still available at significant discounts. The Middle East continued to receive barrels from Russia, with an estimated 105,000 MT being discharged at onshore ports there last week.

Russian fuel oil continued to be transferred by ships in Greek seas. According to dealers, the market will continue to be under negative pressure as more supplies of Russian fuel oil are anticipated to be redirected to Asia in the upcoming months.

In 2022, the United States stopped importing Russian oil. Natural gas and petroleum are both abundant in the United States. Costs are high due to global supply disruptions brought on by nations’ desires to utilize less Russian oil and gas. However, some of the high prices are purely emotional, resulting in panic buying that is happening more slowly. A more diplomatic phrase would be that price reflects uncertainty.

Russia produces 16–17% of the world’s oil, but up until this year, it only exported 4–5% of it. I recently learned that 10% of the world’s supply comes from Russia. That could be correct if they mean the entire amount of oil shipped from nations with net exports, but I haven’t verified it and Russia most definitely doesn’t export 10% of the global oil supply. Similar estimates for natural gas fluctuate from year to year and location to location, and because natural gas is more dependent on pipelines than petroleum, the impact is more pronounced in the EU.

Russian supply maintain substantial discounts for HSFO

The 180-cst HSFO front-month crack was trading at minus $23.65 per barrel at the Asia. The very low sulfur fuel oil market, meantime, strengthened marginally as a result of brisk transaction. The premium over Singapore prices for the 0.5% VLSFO cash differential on Wednesday increased by $2.48 to $7.73.

Coral Energy submitted three bids for Pakistan’s PSO’s request for HSFO for delivery between October 16 and October 31. The lowest bid came with a CFR premium of $98 per tonne over quotations from the Middle East. In the meantime, Vitol Asia and Coral Energy each made two LSFO offers to PSO for the same bidding period, with premiums of $277 and $300 per tonne. As of Wednesday, it was unclear how the tender would be awarded or what the outcome would be.

After reaching a 15-month high the week before, Fujairah Oil Industry Zone stockpiles for heavy distillates. It residues decreased 6% to 12.55 million barrels in the week ending September 19. Iraq’s Oil Marketing Company recently sold a supply of gasoline oil that was tainted by a chemical cleaning agent. In anticipation of greater demand and a potential increase in fourth-quarter gasoline exports. At least three Chinese state-run oil refineries and a privately owned mega refiner are considering raising runs in October from September by up to 10%. This is according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

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