News 14th May, 2024

East of Suez Market Update 14 May 2024

Hong Kong
Tianjin Xingang

Prices in East of Suez ports have moved in mixed directions, and availability of VLSFO and LSMGO remains good across several Chinese ports.

PHOTO: Ships and cranes at the port of Dalian, China. Getty Images

Changes on the day to 17.00 SGT (09.00 GMT) today:

  • VLSFO prices up in Singapore ($3/mt), unchanged in Fujairah, and down in Zhoushan ($12/mt)
  • LSMGO prices up in Zhoushan ($2/mt), and down in Fujairah ($8/mt) and Singapore ($2/mt)
  • HSFO prices up in Zhoushan ($2/mt) and Fujairah ($1/mt), and down in Singapore ($15/mt)

VLSFO prices in East of Suez ports have shown a mixed trend in the past day. Zhoushan's VLSFO price has seen a significant $12/mt drop, while prices in Singapore and Fujairah have been relatively stable. In Zhoushan, three VLSFO stems were fixed in a wide range of $21/mt, with one stem at the lower end of the range dragging down the benchmark. Consequently, Zhoushan's slight premiums over Singapore and Fujairah have been erased, and the port's benchmark now stands at discounts of $10/mt and $5/mt, respectively.

Bunker fuel availability in Zhoushan remains constrained due to limited barge availability, with most suppliers indicating unchanged lead times of 5-7 days.

In Northern China, Dalian port boasts abundant availability of VLSFO and LSMGO. Similarly, both grades are readily accessible in Qingdao and Tianjin, although HSFO supply remains constrained in these ports. In Shanghai, availability of VLSFO and LSMGO has seen some improvement, while HSFO remains in short supply. In Fuzhou and Yangpu, VLSFO and LSMGO are readily available. However, in Guangzhou, prompt availability for low-sulphur fuel grades remains limited. Meanwhile, VLSFO availability has tightened in Xiamen, while LSMGO supply remains unaffected.

In Hong Kong, all fuel grades are readily available, with recommended lead times of about seven days, and some suppliers can offer early deliveries for smaller stems.


The front-month ICE Brent contract moved $0.11/bbl up on the day, to trade at $83.21/bbl at 17.00 SGT (09.00 GMT).

Upward pressure:

Brent futures gained following China’s latest economic measure that boosted hopes about demand growth in the country.

The country announced that it will start selling the first batch of its 1 trillion yuan ($138 billion) ultra-long term special treasury bonds this week. Ultra-long term special bonds are bonds issued by a country with an exceptionally long maturity period of 10 years or more.

“This move [by China] is seen as a significant step in boosting economic activity and supporting infrastructure projects, which in turn could increase demand for oil,” SPI Asset Management’s managing partner Stephen Innes said.

Brent’s price also gained on hopes of a surge in travel activity in the US during the summer holiday season in the country.

“The combination of China's economic measures and the anticipated surge in US holiday travel is driving optimism in the oil markets,” Innes added.

Brent’s price found additional support after Iraq’s oil minister Hayyan Abdul Ghani reiterated that the OPEC member is fully committed to supply cut pledges made within the oil producers’ group.

“Crude oil edged higher on signs of tightening supplies,” ANZ Bank’s senior commodity strategist Daniel Hynes said.

Downward pressure:

Brent futures felt some downward pressure as interest rates in the US remain at elevated levels amid strong inflationary pressures.

The US Federal Reserve’s (Fed) monetary policy measures have not been sufficient to bring inflation under the central bank's target of 2%, Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan said while speaking at the Louisiana Bankers Association conference last week.

The oil market’s focus will be on the US Consumer Price Index (CPI) number due tomorrow as it will “shed more light on the path the US Federal Reserve may take in the months ahead,” two analysts from ING Bank said.

“US CPI data for April will probably be the biggest driver for oil markets,” they added.

By Tuhin Roy and Aparupa Mazumder

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