FUJAIRAH, 30th December 2020 (WAM/ S&P Global Platts) — Oil product inventories at the UAE port of Fujairah remained relatively stable in the week to Dec. 28, drawing just 53,000 barrels, or 0.2%, from the previous week, the latest data from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone showed.
Builds in light distillates and heavy residues offset a draw in middle distillate volumes, with total stock levels standing at 23.595 million barrels, according to the data provided exclusively to S&P Global Platts.
Light distillate stocks increased 295,000 barrels, up 4.2% week on week, and now total 7.350 million barrels.
Market sources said gasoline trading East of Suez was steady to slightly weaker, with stable fundamentals going into year-end. Traders told Platts they expect Chinese exports to remain strong in January and are hoping that demand from buyers in Australia and Malaysia will rebound with an uptick in domestic driving activity.
Middle distillate inventories, including jet fuel and diesel, fell 449,000 barrels, or 8.2%, in the week to 5.029 million barrels, the data showed. That is their lowest level since the week ending Oct. 26.
The gasoil market East of Suez was seeing some downward pressure due to demand concerns in the UK amid tighter lockdown measures from the emergence of a new strain of coronavirus, as well as a unfavorable arbitrage economics that have diverted surplus barrels from Asia and the Middle East westward.
Stocks of heavy distillates, including fuel for power generation and bunkers, rose 101,000 barrels, up 0.9% on the week, to 11.216 million barrels Traders said bunker activity in Fujariah was slowing to a trickle, with many buyers having already securing their supplies for the holiday period and suppliers covering their books for the financial year.
Fujairah-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S bunker was heard offered at $408-$415/mt with the fuel assessed at $405/mt on Dec. 29, reflecting a fall of $3/mt day on day. The price level on Dec. 29 in Fujairah reflects a $1/mt discount to Singapore delivered Marine Fuel 0.5%.