Total refined oil product stocks at the UAE port of Fujairah stood at 16.318 million barrels in the week to Monday, down 3% from the previous week, latest data from the Fujairah Energy Data Committee, or FEDCom, showed.
Light distillates saw a new record high, while heavy distillates saw a new record low.
Stocks of light distillates rose by 10.3% week on week to 8.655 million barrels. This is a new record high, surpassing the 8.178 million barrels seen on April 17, 2017. Stocks are currently 47% or 1.7 million barrels higher year on year. Petrol fundamentals in the East of Suez are still seen as long, though the market consensus is upcoming spring refinery maintenance will bring supply back into balance.
Stocks of middle distillates rose by 19.5% or 386,000 barrels to 2.365 million barrels. Stocks are 45% lower year on year and could remain low as supply is constrained due to current and upcoming refinery maintenance. Two of the region’s major refineries, SATORP (Jubail) and SAMREF (Yanbu) in Saudi Arabia, are currently undergoing maintenance turnarounds, which are likely to reduce gasoil exports. At the same time arbitrage to move gasoil to the West of Suez is closed, as indicated by an EFS swap that recently entered into positive territory.
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues fell by 24.3% to 5.298 million barrels – a new record low. A flat market structure is not supportive of storing fuel oil, while sluggish bunker demand and the end of utility grade fuel oil imports from Fujairah by Pakistan have also weighed on appetite to hold volumes in stock.