Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data Stocks Level as of Aug. 28, 2017

Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data Stocks Level as of Aug. 28, 2017

Oil product stocks down 6.6% on week at 19.329 Million Barrels

Chart Attribute: Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data (as of Aug 28, 2017) / Source: The Gulf Intelligence

Chart Attribute: Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data (as of Aug 28, 2017) / Source: The Gulf Intelligence

Fujairah's commercial stocks of refined oil products fell 6.6% to 19.329 million barrels in the week to Monday, sinking below 20 million barrels for the first time in 11 weeks on a decline more than 20% in light distillate stocks, as large-scale refinery shut-downs in Texas sent shock waves through global markets for oil products, especially gasoline.

Total stocks at the UAE port fell despite a slight build in stocks of heavy distillate and residues, which constitute more than half the total volume of oil products stored there, data released Wednesday by the Fujairah Energy Data Committee (FEDCom) showed.

Stocks of light distillates, predominantly gasoline and naphtha, fell on the week by 1.393 million barrels, or 20.5%, to 5.394 million barrels. It was the largest weekly drop in terms of volume, and the second largest as a percentage, since S&P Global Platts started tracking Fujairah stock data in early January.

Trading sources cited naphtha volumes headed for Asia as the main driver for the draw. Naphtha demand in Asia is rising on higher petrochemical margins. The fourth quarter is typically the peak period for Asian naphtha demand, which should result in an increasing draw on Middle East supply to Asia.

Chart Attribute: Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data (Jan 9-Aug 21, 2017) / Source: The Gulf Intelligence

Chart Attribute: Fujairah Weekly Oil Inventory Data (Jan 9-Aug 21, 2017) / Source: The Gulf Intelligence

HARVEY GOES GLOBAL


However, tighter global gasoline supplies in the wake of Hurricane Harvey may also already be having an impact on light distillate stocks as far away as the Middle East, including at Fujairah, which during the past few years has become a major oil products storage hub for the region. 

Hurricane Harvey downgraded to a tropical storm since making a landing near Corpus Christie, Texas, has lingered for days in the Houston region, bringing catastrophic floods and causing many refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast to shut, either as a direct result of flooding or due to safety concerns. US gasoline and middle distillate supplies, and exports have consequently fallen sharply and it is still unclear when refinery operations will return to normal.

Currently, gasoline is seeing some tightness globally across all major regions. Robust demand from India and the Middle East is continuing to pull gasoline from Europe, the more so in the Middle East, where the region's biggest refinery, Abu Dhabi's 800,000 b/d Ruwais refinery, is undergoing major repairs, expected to last until 2019, after a January fire severely damaged a residual fluid catalytic cracking unit. That has reduced the refinery's yields of light and middle distillates. Demand from Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam are drawing down gasoline stocks in Asia.

In this environment, the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey could mean European gasoline drawn across the Atlantic to meet shortfalls in the US, reducing European volumes available for export to the Middle East.The result could be a further draw on gasoline stocks at Fujairah and elsewhere in the region, where  gasoline demand is due to start a seasonal increase as sweltering summer temperatures recede to levels more conducive to outdoor activity.

Bullish sentiment in the region's gasoline market is already evident in the backwardation of first/second month time spreads for Arab Gulf gasoline 95 swaps to $1.88/b, the highest so far this year.

SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS


Fujairah stocks of middle distillates also fell on the week ending August 28 by 39,000 barrels, or 1.2%, to an 11-week low of 3.148 million barrels. The hurricane-related supply disruptions to US distillate exports might mean more diesel, gasoil, and jet fuel moving West of Suez.

The stream of distillate cargoes from the US Gulf Coast to the Mediterranean and Northwest Europe has all but halted in the past eight days as the storm forced the closure of US Gulf Coast terminals and ports, as well as refineries. In addition, European middle distillate stocks are low due to increased summer demand.

Fujairah's stock of heavy distillates and residues totaled 10.787 million barrels on August 28, edging up 76,000 barrels or 0.7% on the week. Demand for bunker fuel in both Fujairah and Singapore has been healthy over the past week. Fujairah 380 CST delivered bunker fuel continued to be priced at a premium of about $1/mt over Singapore, down from $2-$3/mt the previous week.

The first/second month time spread for Arab Gulf 180 CST high sulfur fuel oil swaps was pegged at a seven-week high backwardation of $1/mt, with a possible shortfall in US fuel oil exports due to the hurricane seen as a key supporting factor.

At the same time, fuel-oil demand in the Middle East has been more robust than usual this summer because Saudi Arabia has been substituting fuel oil for part of the crude it burns at its power stations in summer to support peak demand for electricity to run air-conditioning. The kingdom does not have
enough gas to meet peak summer demand from its predominantly thermal power plants while also supplying increasing direct demand for gas from its industrial and petroleum sectors.

Nonetheless, with summer drawing to a close, reducing local fuel oil demand, the Middle East will be well positioned to export the product in the coming weeks and months. Moreover, S&P Global Platts has estimated that about 230,000 mt/month of gasoline production capacity has been lost at Ruwais since January due to the fire, which means a substantially increased yield of fuel oil from the refinery if crude processing remains constant.

The government of Fujairah in 2016 announced a plan to publish weekly data on refined products held at onshore commercial terminals at Fujairah as part of its effort to position the Indian Ocean port as a global oil trading and storage hub.

It appointed Platts to distribute the weekly inventory data. FEDCom was established by the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone to collect, verify and distribute inventory data to replicate the data sets provided at other global trading centers such as Singapore and Rotterdam. Fujairah has about 41.5 million barrels of commercial oil product land storage available for leasing, S&P Global Platts Analytics estimates.

About the S&P Global Platts and FOIZ Fujairah Data Project:

The government of Fujairah in 2016 announced a plan to publish weekly data on refined products held at onshore commercial terminals at Fujairah as part of its effort to position the Indian Ocean port as a global oil trading and storage. It appointed S&P Global Platts to distribute the weekly inventory data. FEDCom was established by the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone to collect, verify and distribute inventory data to replicate the data sets provided at other global trading centers such as Singapore and Rotterdam. Fujairah has about 41.5 million barrels of commercial oil product land storage available for leasing.

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Gulf Intelligence is a strategic communications & research firm effective across the full value-chain of the Middle East Energy Sector – we facilitate knowledge exchange and advance the business interests of national and international stakeholders operational in the regional industry.
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