Fuel oil exports from Rotterdam to the Asia-Pacific region were slower for the second consecutive month in April, compared with firmer outflows in the first two months of the year.

At least two VLCC and two Suezmax-sized vessels are expected to load high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) from Rotterdam for onward journey to Asia in April, Vortexa data show, which would be just below March export levels along the same route.

The VLCC Olympic Liberty departed for the major bunkering hub of Singapore at the beginning of this month and is due to arrive there in mid-May, while the Suezmax Trinity loaded in mid-April and is also heading to Singapore.

These are expected to be followed by the Suezmax Antarctic and the VLCC Olympic Leopard towards the end of the month, based on provisional shipping fixtures. The former vessel is currently in the port of Rotterdam, while the latter is located just outside.

In March four VLCCs were seen departing Rotterdam for Asia and made their way around the Cape of Good Hope, with expected arrival dates in the region between late-April/beginning-May. Around two more Suezmax/VLCC vessels loaded per month in January and February, helping to buoy stocks in Singapore and curbing subsequent demand.

As northwest European fuel oil flows to Asia fell month-on-month in March, exports from the Mediterranean region to Singapore—mostly from Greece and Italy—rose compared with previous months, and looked to be at their highest since November, according to observed flows.