Oil product stockpiles at the bunkering hub of Fujairah dropped 13 percent over the past week, to the lowest level this year, amid speculation that shippers are taking advantage of lower fuel costs in the UAE’s East Coast port compared with Singapore, according to data released Wednesday by the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone, FOIZ.
Fujairah’s total refined oil product stocks stood at 17.355 million barrels on 9th September, after a 25 percent plunge in middle distillates from a week earlier and a 14 percent decline in heavy distillates and residues. The drop in total inventories was the biggest since November last year, putting inventories at the lowest since 31st December 2018, S&P Global Platts data showed. Stocks were down 8.2 percent from 18.906 million barrels a year earlier, the data showed.
Fujairah delivered 380 CST bunker fuel was assessed at US $ 406.75/mt on Tuesday, compared with US $ 440/mt in Singapore, according to Platts. The wide price discount to Singapore is attracting some demand in Fujairah, Platts reported earlier.
“There’s quite a difference between the two, typically Singapore was a bit cheaper,” said Apurva Mali, sales manager at Masc Co DMCC, a bunker fuels trader. “Some vessels are in a position to select Fujairah over Singapore when making a trip to China.”
Heavy distillates and residues stocks — fuel oil used for marine bunkers and power generation — were 10.229 million barrels. Despite the weekly decline, inventories were still 27 percent higher than a year earlier, Platts data showed.
Stocks of light distillates — including gasoline and naphtha — came in at 5.654 million barrels, down seven percent from the previous week, according to FOIZ data. The stocks declined 15 percent from a year earlier, Platts data showed.
Middle distillates stocks — such as gasoil, diesel, marine gasoil, jet fuel and kerosene — dropped 25 percent week on week to 1.472 million barrels on 9th September. The stocks fell 65 percent from a year earlier, Platts data showed.
S&P Global Platts is the official publisher of the oil products data. Fujairah has the Middle East’s largest commercial storage capacity for refined products.