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Singapore middle distillates stocks near 6-month high despite exports

(Reuters) - Singapore's middle distillates inventories hit a near six-month high, official data showed on Thursday, as jet fuel/kerosene net exports were little changed despite rising gasoil net exports week-on-week.

Inventories of gasoil and jet fuel/kerosene held at key storage hub Singapore climbed by 4% week-on-week to 9.1 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 13, the data added.

Jet fuel/kerosene net exports were almost unchanged from last week, as a surge in imports offset higher exports.

Imports into Singapore came mostly from Malaysia, while some volumes headed to the West such as Mexico contributed to the increments in exports.

Congestion at the Panama Canal, which has made it more lucrative for buyers to seek cargoes from Asia instead of the U.S., could have been one of the reasons drawing cargoes from Asia to Latin America, two shipping sources said.

Around 11,200 metric tons of jet fuel were bound for Pemex Rosarito, Kpler shiptracking data showed.

Gasoil exports to Mexico - slightly more than 26,000 tons - were also evident for the week, the data showed.

Total exports of gasoil more than doubled from a week ago, with majority of volumes still bound for regional destinations especially Malaysia, Bangladesh and Vietnam - limiting overall stock gains in Singapore.

Exports to Australia for the week fell to almost zero, with some trade sources attributing it to potential supply recovery soon after a refinery outage at Viva Energy's site earlier this year.

Regional gasoil demand is likely to remain steady until the fourth quarter, supporting the steady cargo flows out Singapore, one Singapore-based analyst said.

Below are the top contributor countries for gasoil exports in the week and their respective volumes (in tons):

On the import front, volumes from China, India and South Korea continued in line with earlier expectations.

Volumes from Taiwan also emerged after a three-week hiatus, the data showed.

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