Stockpiles of oil products at the UAE Port of Fujairah jumped 18% in the week ended May 8 to a year-to-date high, with double-digit gains in all categories, reports Platts quoting the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone data.
Total inventories climbed to 23.163 million barrels May 8, the highest since Dec. 12, the FOIZ data showed provided exclusively to S&P Global Commodity Insights showed. Total inventories, which had been down 4.7% for the year as of May 1, are now up 12% since the end of 2022.
Light distillate stocks including gasoline and naphtha rose 18% on the week to 7.97 million barrels, the highest since Feb. 20, while middle distillates such as diesel and jet fuel rose 14% to 3.379 million barrels, a two-week high. Heavy distillates used as fuel oil for power generation and as ship fuel rose 19% to 11.814 million barrels, the highest since Feb. 27.
Overwhelming bunker demand
Fuel oil supplies have overwhelmed bunker demand lately, local traders said. One said demand has lagged expectations, given lower crude oil prices. Platts assessed Dated Brent at $75.665/b May 9, down from $87.87/b on April 13, S&P Global data showed.
The Platts Fujairah-delivered marine fuel 0.5% sulfur bunker premium over the benchmark FOB Singapore marine fuel 0.5% sulfur cargo value fell to average $8.56/mt May 2-9 from $11.34/mt in April, S&P Global data also showed.
Traders cited LSFO cargo inflows from Kuwait’s Al-Zour refinery.
A 665,210-barrel cargo, or 104,758 mt, of LSFO originating from Al-Zour was discharged at Fujairah May 3, the most on record, according to the Kpler shipping data.
Demand has been responding to lower LSFO prices, traders said. “There were more direct buyers and some larger stem sizes when [the LSFO] flat price was sharply down last week,” a Fujairah-based trader said May 10.
The spot Fujairah ex-wharf marine fuel 0.5% sulfur bunker differential to the benchmark FOB Singapore marine fuel 0.5% sulfur cargo assessment slipped to average minus $1.44/mt May 2-9 from plus $1.34/mt in April, S&P Global data showed.
Imports of oil products to Fujairah surged May 1-8 to 5.988 million barrels from 3.884 million barrels the week before, wIth Saudi Arabia sending 1.192 million barrels to Fujairah, all of it gasoline, according to the Kpler data. That is the biggest gasoline shipment from Saudi Arabia to Fujairah since September.
Kuwait was set to send 1.369 million barrels of refined products to Fujairah May 1-8, the highest weekly volume on record, including fuel oil, diesel and naphtha.
At the same time, gasoline exports from Fujairah slumped May 1-8 to 94,800 barrels, all shipped to Pakistan, compared with 328,000 barrels the week before, the Kpler data showed. There were no oil product shipments destined for Singapore in the week for the first time since the week started March 20.
So far for 2023, heavy distillate stocks are up 17%, light distillate stocks up 6.7% and middle distillate stocks up 9.4% from the end of 2022.
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