By Jeslyn Lerh and Cassandra Yap
       SINGAPORE, May 24 (Reuters) - Onshore fuel oil stockpiles at key storage
hub Singapore plummeted to a 5-1/2 year low, latest data showed, as incoming
supplies to Asia fell with the Middle East exporting fewer cargoes due to peak
summer demand.
    Singapore's fuel oil inventories  fell 17.46% from last week to
15.78 million barrels (2.48 million metric tons) in the week ended May 22, the
lowest since late-October 2018, Enterprise Singapore data showed on Thursday.

    "Singapore inventories plummeted to their lowest since November 2018 as
inflows from the Middle East dried up," said consultancy FGE.
    "This was likely due to the seasonally increasing demand for fuel oil for
power generation in the Middle East as temperatures rise," added FGE.
    Supplies to the wider Asia region trended lower for a second consecutive
month, dipping below 6 million tons for May, ship-tracking data from LSEG Oil
Research showed, led by supplies from the Middle East falling below 1.3 million
tons for the second consecutive month in May.
    This has weighed on weekly inventory levels at Singapore, calculations based
on Enterprise data showed, despite countering a weekly uptick in net imports.
    Fuel oil inventories averaged at 18.37 million barrels a week in May so far,
compared to 20.80 million barrels in April and 20.97 million barrels in March.
    The lower supplies have supported high-sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) price
benchmarks, with 380-cst fuel margins touching nine-month highs
earlier this week.
    "HSFO's strength is attributed to dwindling supplies... with little
incremental upside, resulting from Saudi Arabia's baseload crude output cuts of
heavy crudes to Asian refiners that have reduced the production of refinery
bottoms," said analysts at LSEG Oil Research.
    On exports, fuel oil outflows emerged from Singapore onshore tanks to South
Asian countries including Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka this week, versus zero
last week, based on Enterprise Singapore.
    South Asia typically imports more fuel oil during summer months for power
generation so this could also lead to further drawdowns in inventories at
regional storage hubs, said industry sources.
 Week to May 22, Fuel oil (in    Total        Total       Net Imports
 metric tons)                    Imports      Exports     
 AZERBAIJAN                            6,080           0        6,080
 BANGLADESH                                0      15,048      -15,048
 BRAZIL                              182,384           0      182,384
 BULGARIA                              4,839           0        4,839
 CHINA                                 3,523           0        3,523
 CONGO                                74,327           0       74,327
 ESTONIA                              48,390           0       48,390
 INDIA                                77,427         350       77,077
 INDONESIA                            97,920           0       97,920
 ITALY                                14,164           0       14,164
 KOREA, REP OF                             1           0            1
 KUWAIT                              141,918           0      141,918
 MALAYSIA                             18,599     170,162     -151,563
 NETHERLANDS                         145,818           0      145,818
 NEW CALEDONIA                             0       5,599       -5,599
 OMAN                                 79,243           0       79,243
 ROMANIA                              13,965           0       13,965
 SRI LANKA                                 0      26,533      -26,533
 SWEDEN                               26,983           0       26,983
 THAILAND                             47,089           0       47,089
 TURKMENISTAN                         38,985           0       38,985
 UNITED ARAB EMIRATES                 57,877           0       57,877
 VIETNAM                              11,835           0       11,835
 TOTAL                             1,091,367     217,692      873,675
 (Data from Enterprise Singapore)

 (Reporting by Jeslyn Lerh and Cassandra Yap; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri
and Varun H K)