Highest Drop In Oil Product Stockpiles

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Oil product stockpiles at the UAE’s Port of Fujairah saw the highest drop on record in the week to Nov. 22 as light distillates such as naphtha posted the biggest decline in a year, according to Nov. 24 data from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ) provided exclusively to S&P Global Platts.

Total inventories

Total inventories stood at 16.256 million barrels as of Nov. 22, down 19.9% from a week earlier and the biggest drop since Platts began compiling the data in January 2017.

Light distillates fell 26.9% over the same period, the biggest decline since the week ended Oct. 26, 2020, while heavy distillates including fuel oils for power generation and shipping declined by 15.8%, the biggest drop since the week ended March 8.

Exports from Fujairah

Fuel oil exports from Fujairah were at a record 4.12 million barrels in the week started Nov. 15, with shipments headed for Singapore, China, Madagascar and Pakistan, according to Kpler data.

“It makes more economic sense for Middle Eastern suppliers to ship arbitrage cargoes to Singapore than Fujairah at the moment due to stronger cargo values and downstream bunker prices,” a Fujairah-based bunker supplier said.

The premium of Fujairah-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S against the benchmark Singapore marine fuel 0.5%S cargo assessments averaged $13.20/mt over Nov. 22-23, down from the previous week’s average of $15.79/mt, Platts data showed. The premium reached $22.72/mt Oct. 27, the highest since March 24, according to Platts data.

Slow bunker demand

Traders said overall bunker demand at Fujairah is slower than it was in October, when sales reached a high for the year, according to FOIZ data. Low sulfur fuel oil inquiries showed “good volumes” in recent days, “so most suppliers have limited barge availability for prompt bunker deliveries,” a Fujairah-based bunker supplier said.

The delivered marine fuel 0.5%S bunker fuel for Singapore was at a premium of $5/mt against Fujairah on Nov. 23, after trading at a discount between Oct. 20 and Nov. 17, Platts data showed.

Naphtha exported

Some 750,000 barrels of naphtha were set to be exported from Fujairah for the week started Nov. 15, almost double from the week before, with traders sending the petrochemicals feedstock to South Korea, Japan and India, the first such shipment to India since February, according to the Kpler data. Kuwait Petroleum Corp. was seeking 35,000 mt of 91 RON gasoline for delivery to Mina al-Ahmadi over Dec. 1-2 in a tender that closed Nov. 23, Platts reported earlier.

Middle distillates stockpiles

Middle distillates stockpiles stood at 2.822 million barrels as of Nov. 22, down 21.1% from a week earlier and the lowest in six weeks, according to the FOIZ data. Light distillates stockpiles are at their lowest since the record low of 4.198 million barrels set on Oct. 26, 2020.

Total inventories are down 20.45% on the year, led by a 52.67% decline in middle distillates. Light distillates have fallen 32.31% while heavy distillates were up 12.23% over the same period.

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Source: Platts

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