FUJAIRAH DATA: Oil product stocks fall to 2-month low as diesel exports double
The oil product inventory at the UAE’s Port of Fujairah stood at 20.95 million barrels on July 26, down 3.7% on the week and the lowest since May 24, according to data provided exclusively to S&P Global Platts by the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone on July 28.
The fall in inventories came after diesel exports doubled from the UAE to China, Kenya and Argentina, among other countries.
The stocks of middle distillates, including jet fuel, diesel and gasoil, fell 21% on the week to 2.66 million barrels, the biggest weekly drop since March 2020 and the lowest since April 2020.
Exports reached 1.75 million barrels in the week that began on July 19, more than double a week earlier, according to commodity data company Kpler. Most of the shipments in recent weeks have been diesel/gasoil, with destinations including China, Jordan, Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan, Bahrain and Argentina.
Asian gasoil traders said that East-West arbitrage economics were marginally open, creating an opportunity for traders to move Persian Gulf and India-origin gasoil cargoes to the West. A deepening Exchange of Futures for Swaps, or EFS spread, as well as more affordable freight rates, have facilitated the opening of the arbitrage, sources said.
At the Asian close on July 27, the August EFS spread was assessed at minus $7.22/mt, widening from minus $7.05/mt the previous day.
The bullish sentiment prompted by the slight opening in arbitrage lanes and limited gasoil supply balances in Asia led to a rise in prices. Ultra-low sulfur diesel, the benchmark gasoil grade in Asia, was assessed at a two-month high of plus 9 cents/b to the Mean of Platts Singapore gasoil assessments, FOB Singapore. This was the highest level since May 27, Platts data showed.
Stocks of heavy distillates, which include fuel for power generation and marine bunkers, stood at 11.21 million barrels as of July 26, down 4.7% from a week earlier and a three-week low, the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone data showed.
Sellers of Fujairah-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S are optimistic as bunker supplies of the very low sulfur fuel oil grade have moved from oversupply to more balanced with demand, industry sources said.
“Valuations of Fujairah-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S are less competitive in July because suppliers are less eager to reduce inventories, and purchasing cost of ex-wharf has also increased as the market is also experiencing a slight tightness in the inventories of very low sulfur fuel oil bunkers,” a Fujairah-based bunker supplier said.
Due to the tightening of inventories, term contracts for the supply of ex-wharf Fujairah 0.5%S marine fuel bunker for August-loading rose to a premium of $3/mt over the Mean of Platts Singapore 0.5%S marine fuel cargo assessments in July, up from a premium of $2/mt at which buyers had inked term contracts for August loading product in H1 July. This was also up from the premium of $1.50-$1.75/mt fixed for balance July-loading.
Bunker sales of Fujairah-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S were seen up as much as 10% from June, sources said.
According to Platts data, the premium for Fujairah-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S against FOB Singapore 0.5%S averaged $1.63/mt as of July 27, compared with the June average of $1.65/mt. The premium was $2.35/mt on July 27, up 27 cents/mt from July 26.
Stocks of Light distillates, including gasoline and naphtha, stood at 7.08 million barrels as of July 26, up 6.9% from a week earlier and the highest since June 28.
Total stockpiles as of July 26 fell 18.5% on the year, while middle distillates and heavy distillates fell 39.4% and 23%, respectively, over the same period, the data showed. Light distillates stocks rose 4.6% over the same period.