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Singapore fuel oil stocks hit all-time high, exports slower

[SINGAPORE] Singapore fuel oil stocks surged to their highest level in the last week on the back of weaker exports, fuelling worries that the region's demand is not keeping up with rising inflows, data from International Enterprise Singapore showed on Thursday.

Oil inventory data surveyed from 13 oil terminals out of 16 in Singapore showed a 12 per cent increase in fuel oil stocks to 27.603 million barrels, or around 4.3 million tonnes, in the week to June 3. This was the highest level since 1999, when Reuters first tracked the data.

Shipments out of the region's oil hub fell by 35 per cent to a two-week low of 535,000 tonnes in the same week, as exports to South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh reduced by a combined volume of at least 300,000 tonnes.

Exports to China, another key importer of fuel oil in Asia, was relatively stable, falling by just 7,200 tonnes.

Stocks had climbed in the last week despite a fall in imports - typically from the Americas, Europe, Russia and the Middle East - to just 800,000 tonnes, less than half of the volume recorded in the previous week, data showed.

Fuel oil is mainly used as a shipping fuel and can also be burned to generate electricity.