SINGAPORE: Pakistan’s Pak-Arab Refinery Ltd (Parco) has offered fuel oil for July loading in its latest tender, underlining an ongoing shift in market dynamics as the South Asian country turned to exporting instead of importing fuel oil this summer.

The refinery is offering 50,000 tonnes of high-sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) with maximum 3.5 per cent sulphur content, for loading at Karachi port between July 15 and 17, based on its website and trade sources.

The tender closes on July 5. Parco had previously closed an HSFO sales tender in May this year.

Imports of fuel oil into Pakistan slumped in the second quarter this year as companies resorted to burning more coal for power generation due to its cheaper cost and availability.

Monthly imports hit a four-year high in the second quarter last year.

The country’s fuel oil exports have trended higher in 2023 so far compared to 2022, totalling 340,000 tonnes in Q2CY2023. It did not export any fuel in the same quarter last year, data from shipping analytics firm Kpler showed.

The country typically imports fuel oil from the Middle East.

Exports have so far gone to Singapore and the United Arab Emirates this year.

The export trend could continue in the coming months as the peak summer demand season is already retreating, with refineries seeking to clear inventories, trade sources said.

Published in Dawn, July 6th, 2023

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