Refining margins for high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) posted a seventh consecutive week of declines, weighed by consistent bearish drivers.

The 380-cst HSFO crack closed at a discount of $16.92 a barrel on Friday, sliding by about 5% from last week, based on LSEG data.

Cargo differentials for 380-cst HSFO ended the week in discounts to Singapore quotes, while ex-wharf 380-cst bunker fuel premiums softened into smaller single-digit premiums, based on trade sources.

Meanwhile, the very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) market held steady on Friday amid thin activity.

The 0.5% VSLFO cash premium closed at $14.75 a metric ton, while refining margin rebounded slightly to a premium of $10.99 a barrel.

Inventories at ARA climbed 10.2% week-on-week to 1.06 million tons in the week to Oct. 26, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed.

– Oil prices rose by over $1 on Friday as reports that the U.S. military struck Iranian targets in Syria raised concerns of a widening of the Israel-Hamas conflict that could impact supply from the key Middle East producing region.

– U.S. waterborne imports of crude from OPEC+ members including Saudi Arabia have dropped steadily over the last year, further tightening supplies in the U.S. while supporting other markets including Europe, according to flows data and analysts.

– Russia has sent record volumes of sea-borne fuel oil and vacuum gasoil to India in September, replacing some crude oil volumes, traders said and LSEG data showed.

– Valero Energy plans to operate its 14 oil refineries in North America and Britain at up to 96.5% of their combined total throughput capacity of 3.2 million barrels per day in the fourth quarter, a senior executive said.

– 180-cst HSFO: No trade
– 380-cst HSFO: No trade
– 0.5% VLSFO: No trade

Source: Reuters reported by Jeslyn Lerh and edited by Sonia Cheema