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Singapore middle distillates stocks dip but remain above 7 MM bbls

(Reuters) - Singapore's middle distillates stockpiles slipped slightly week-on-week as net exports of both diesel/gasoil and jet fuel/gasoil posted robust gains, official data showed on Thursday.

Inventories of diesel/gasoil and jet fuel/kerosene at key oil storage hub Singapore were at 7.039 million barrels in the week of Feb. 7, up from 7.085 million barrels from a week earlier, the data from Enterprise Singapore showed. O/SING1

Net exports of diesel/gasoil gained by around 14% from last week, mainly due to a 74% decline in total imports.

Import arrivals were mostly from Taiwan and Russia for the week, the data showed.

However, India-origin arrivals into Singapore will likely resume soon, given better profitability for sellers to this region instead of northwest Europe, analysts say.

West coast India "exports are now directed towards Singapore rather than Europe, owing to the elevated freight costs associated with European bound voyages", said Sparta Commodities analyst James Noel-Beswick.

Around 120,000 metric tons or more of India-origin diesel/gasoil are bound for Singapore in the week of Feb. 29 for now, shiptracking data from LSEG and Kpler showed.

However, total India export volumes for February could still remain curtailed depending on domestic demand, LSEG analysts said in a weekly client report.

On a whole, total exports out of Singapore grew by almost 29% week on week, reflecting the consistent trade flows to regional destinations such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar.

Flows will likely be steady to Indonesia and Malaysia in the coming weeks given some restart delays from earlier and ongoing planned refinery maintenance, one trade source said.

On the jet fuel/kerosene front, net exports more than tripled from last week. The emergence of volumes heading to Thailand came into focus, with possibly some stock replenishment there from earlier refinery troubles.

Volumes to Vietnam continued, likely on a contractual basis, supporting the net export gains this week.

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