FUJAIRAH DATA: Oil product stocks climb with heavy distillates reaching an eight-month high
Oil product stockpiles at the UAE’s east coast port of Fujairah climbed for a second consecutive week led by a 16% surge in heavy distillates to an eight-month high even as gasoline and other light distillates declined close to a record low.
The total inventory stood at 23.276 million barrels as of April 26, up 7.5% from a week earlier and the highest since Feb. 1, according to April 28 data from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone. Heavy distillates including fuel oil and marine bunkers jumped to 15.075 million barrels, the most since Aug. 24 after a 30% jump a week earlier.
Light distillates stood at 5.256 million barrels as of April 26, down 4% from a week earlier and the lowest since the record low of 4.198 million barrels on Oct. 26, 2020, according to the FOIZ data provided exclusively to S&P Global Platts.
Refinery outages across the Middle East and export demand have limited gasoline supplies, leading to rising prices in the region. The cash differential against the Platts Arab Gulf 92 RON gasoline assessment has averaged $3.43/b month-to-date as of April 27, up from $3.06/b in March and $2.67/b in February, according to Platts data.
This month, the 440,000 b/d Satorp refinery in Saudi Arabia is only gradually coming back to full output following partial works at the facility that began in the second half of February, Platts has reported. Likewise, Oman’s 198,000 b/d Sohar refinery had some unexpected outages, resulting in its gasoline-related units being taken offline in late-March.
“There is some tightness in the [Middle East gasoline] market. There are concerns over domestic demand, but export demand from Africa, for example, has been steady,” a market source said.
Reflecting the pull of gasoline from regions outside of the Middle East, one LR1 tanker, Amber, was loading gasoline in the Middle East on April 30 for a voyage to the US Atlantic Coast, according to shipping sources. Traders have shipped gasoline from Fujairah to Pakistan for the past three weeks, according to data analytics firm Kpler.
At the same time, fuel oil exports from Fujairah have slowed in recent weeks, with the four-week moving average at 1.6 million barrels in the week started April 19, the lowest this year, according to Kpler. Bunker fuel sales in March fell 0.6% on the month after a 6.2% decline in February from January, according to a separate data base from FOIZ.
Middle distillates stocks, including jet fuel and diesel, stood at 2.945 million barrels as of April 26, down 9% from a week earlier and the lowest since April 13, 2020, according to the FOIZ data.
All 13 commercial terminal operators present in Fujairah are participating in the weekly stock reporting, according to FOIZ. Platts has been the official publisher of the stocks data since January 2017 and has the bunker sales data since January this year.