Oil product stockpiles at the UAE's Port of Fujairah climbed 5.4% to a two-week high in the week ended Nov. 21, led by gains in light and middle distillates stocks, according to Fujairah Oil Industry Zone data published Nov. 23.
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Total inventories were 25.143 million barrels as of Nov. 21, the highest since Nov. 7 when stockpiles were at a two-year high, the data provided exclusively to S&P Global Commodities Insights showed. The rise comes after a 5.2% drop a week earlier.
Stockpiles of middle distillates jumped 22% over the latest week, while light distillates climbed 10%. Stockpiles of heavy distillates remained at a near 17-month high for the third consecutive week.
Heavy distillates and residues used as fuel for power generation and marine bunkers stood at 14.426 million barrels as of Nov. 21, up 7,000 barrels, or less than 0.1% from a week earlier. Platts, part of S&P Global, assessed marine fuel with 0.5% sulfur delivered to Fujairah at $630/mt on Nov. 22, after dropping to $610/mt on Nov. 21, the lowest since Jan. 4.
"Low sulfur fuel oil demand is very thin and there are even more suppliers chasing after these inquiries," a Fujairah-based bunker supplier said.
Despite lackluster LSFO demand, the volume of inquiries seen since November could signal an improvement over October, according to bunker suppliers.
Some sellers have withdrawn offers for delivered marine fuel with 0.5% sulfur whenever traded levels or counteroffers by other competitors have fallen below premiums of the ex-wharf cargoes for which they have committed for the current month, according to sources.
The Platts Fujairah-delivered marine fuel 0.5%S bunker premium over the FOB Singapore marine fuel 0.5%S cargo assessments averaged $7.73/mt Nov. 21-22, down from $9.97/mt Nov. 14-18, S&P Global data showed.
As for high sulfur fuel oil, suppliers are eager to fix inquiries at slimmer premiums to cap inventories and move the bunker barges, sources said.
"The market is very soft... all HSFO sellers have [adequate product] availability to supply even within a two days' notice," a Fujairah-based bunker supplier said Nov. 22.
Platts Fujairah-delivered 380 CST high sulfur fuel oil bunker premium over the FO 380 CST 3.5% FOB Arab Gulf cargo assessments averaged just $3.42/mt Nov. 21-22, down from $13.17/mt Nov. 14-18, according to S&P Global data.
Bunker fuel sales at Fujairah, the world's third-largest bunkering hub, in October slipped nearly 16% year on year and were 2% lower on the month, marking a second consecutive monthly decline in the volumes sold, FOIZ data showed.
Inventories of light distillates such as gasoline and naphtha rose to 7.503 million barrels as of Nov. 21, a six-week high, while those of middle distillates such as jet fuel and kerosene advanced to 3.214 million barrels, a two-week high.
Total inventories are now 57% higher since the end of 2021, with light distillates leading the way with a 73% jump. Heavy distillates have climbed 52% over the same period and middle distillates are up by 50%.