- Gasoline exports slow this year
- Wind, rain disrupt operations in mid-Jan
- Fujairah premium widens over Singapore
Oil product stockpiles at the UAE’s Port of Fujairah rose to an eight-week high after signs of a slowdown in gasoline and naphtha exports, according to figures from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ) and Kpler, says an article published in S&P Global Platts.
Total inventories were at 16.941 million barrels as of Jan. 24, up 0.3% from a week earlier and the highest since Nov. 29, the FOIZ data published Jan. 26 showed. Light distillates such as gasoline and naphtha jumped 18% over the same period to 5.31 million barrels, the most since Nov. 15, according to the data provided exclusively.
Gasoline exports from Fujairah have slowed this year after averaging 101,000 b/d in December, the highest since September 2021, according to data from Kpler. There have been no shipments registered in 2022 to traditional buyers such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Tanzania.
Naphtha exports from Fujairah were 80,000 barrels in the week started Jan. 17, with the four-week moving average at the lowest since April, the Kpler data showed. Traders have booked the petrochemicals feedstock for only two destinations so far this year: Japan and Taiwan.
Total inventories had reached a near-record low in mid-January largely because of declines in middle distillates such as jet fuel, gas oil, kerosene, and diesel. Middle distillates stocks stood at 1.796 million barrels as of Jan. 24, down 26% from a week earlier after hitting a four-year low on Jan. 10. Reduced gas oil exports from China have kept regional supplies lean, industry sources said, pushing prices higher.
Heavy distillates stocks were 9.835 million barrels as of Jan. 24, down 1% from a week earlier. Heavy distillates include fuel oil for power generation and shipping.
Bunker demand has been good and traders have been keen to make deals, boosting sales and reducing inventories slightly.
Marine fuel suppliers have faced a backlog of orders that piled up due to weather-related disruptions and limited barge availability, local bunker suppliers said. “Demand was stable despite the weather, largely supported by suppliers taking advantage of the high flat price to shift oil cargoes,” a Fujairah trader said. Prompt bunker delivery of marine fuel 0.5%S was offered at “high premiums,” the trader said.
Rain and wind since Jan. 14 had obstructed bunkering and cargo operations at the port while demand for low and high sulfur fuel oil remained strong, market sources said. Conditions returned to normal in recent days, leaving delivery schedules fully booked, the source said.
Premiums of Fujairah-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S over the benchmark Singapore marine fuel 0.5%S cargo assessments averaged $16.90/mt on Jan. 24-25, up from the average of $16.31/mt during the week ended Jan. 21. For the week earlier that ended Jan. 14, the premium was at $19.78/mt.
Total inventories are still down 23.5% since this time last year, led by a 53.69% drop in middle distillates. Heavy distillates have dropped 13.72% over the same period and light distillates have shrunk by 22.71%.
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Source: S&P Global Platts.