FUJAIRAH, 20th December 2017 (WAM/Platts) — Total refined product stocks at the Port of Fujairah stood at 16.626 million barrels in the week to 18th December, almost unchanged from the previous week, according to data from the Fujairah Energy Data Committee, or FEDCom.
The total inventory figure barely moved over the week, with small builds in light and middle distillate stocks offset by a fall in heavy distillates and residues, S&P Global Platts Analytics said in a report.
Stocks of heavy distillates and residues continued to fall in the week to 18th December, dropping 4.2% to 10.217 million barrels. The front-month time spread for Arab Gulf 180 CST swaps rose back into a backwardation of 25 cents/mt Tuesday, tracking a strengthening Singapore market, the report said.
Sizable volumes of fuel oil have also been reported leaving Fujairah for Singapore, according to local sources, as prices spread between the two bunkering hubs.
Stocks of middle distillates rose 2.4% week on week to 1.44 million barrels, as the arbitrage window to move gasoil from Asia to the Middle East remains open. Demand from West and East Africa is also pulling in additional Middle Eastern gasoil and jet fuel cargoes, likely resulting from seasonally reduced supplies from Europe.
Stocks of light distillates rose 9.1% to 4.969 million barrels, a nine-week high. Global gasoline markets continue to see a divergence between steady demand in East of Suez and seasonal winter downturn in the West, with Europe oversupplied.
Separately, Iran’s Oil Minister, Bijan Namdar Zanganeh, expects the country’s gasoline production to equal domestic requirements and stabilise from mid-2018, following the completion of phase two of the 120,000 b/d Gulf Star condensates refinery.
The new refinery is expected to add 126,000 b/d of new gasoline supply once all the three phases were fully operational. This would be a 27% increase on current production, which is reportedly 468,000 b/d.