Added May 4, 2018

Pakistan resumes fuel oil imports

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Fuel oil cargoes are on their way to Pakistan, where imports are resuming after an absence of several months.

At least two tankers are signalling their destinations as Port Qasim in Pakistan after having loaded in the Singapore and Fujairah bunkering hubs, Vortexa data show.

The latest tanker to depart is the Aframax Nordbay, which loaded from the UAE’s port of Fujairah on 3 May and is expected to arrive at Port Qasim in coming days.

A provisional shipping fixture showed the Nordbay booked to load 80,000t of fuel oil on 27 April-2 May from Fujairah for delivery to Pakistan.

The Aframax MT Alqadisia also took on a cargo of fuel oil via ship-to-ship transfer in the Singapore region at the end of April and is expected to arrive to the port in mid-May.

Pakistan’s fuel oil imports were around 450,000t in November, according to observed flows, but slumped to close to 200,000t in December and January combined—significantly lower year-on-year.

Imports were expected to recommence this month, having been absent since the very start of January. State-owned Pakistan State Oil (PSO) was recently heard opening purchase tenders to import fuel oil for delivery from May, to cover demand in the run up to the peak electricity consumption period of summer.

The country aims to increasingly prioritise gas-fired power generation—gradually displacing the use of fuel oil as feedstock—amid an expansion of its LNG import infrastructure in recent years.

Last year Pakistan sourced most of its fuel oil imports from the Mideast Gulf— primarily Fujairah — with a smaller volume supplied from Singapore. It also topped up with supply from other locations.

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