The fall of fuel oil prices in Europe has also contributed to making exports to the US economical. In fact, Reuters cites data from oil analytics firm Vortexa, which indicate that US imports of fuel oil from Russia and former Soviet Union (FSU) countries increased to at least a multi-year high of 1.35 million tonnes in October, while they are expected to stay at similar levels in November.
What is more, US refiners have been expected to benefit from the new regulations, as they are more capable to break down cheaper, heavy crudes into higher-margin, compliant products.
The rise in imports may be related to US refiners wanting to run fuel oil directly to their cokers, while the price of high-sulphur fuel oil falls ahead of IMO 2020, according to Sandy Fielden, energy analyst at financial services firm Morningstar.
Sandy Fielden explained that if fuel oil is cheaper than crude, then it can run direct to the coker, in order to produce gasoline and diesel and increase refinery returns. As said, if it is profitable then the market should expect more of it in the coming months,as HSFO prices decline.