Dubai — Refined oil product stockpiles at Fujairah in the UAE advanced to an 11-week high over the past week, with gains in all categories amid a bearish near-term outlook for bunker fuel oils and the coronavirus outbreak hampering trading.
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Total stocks climbed 12% over the week to 24.252 million barrels as of February 3, the most since November 18, data released Wednesday by the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone showed. Heavy distillates and residues, including fuel oils used for marine fuel and power generation, jumped 23% to 12.862 million barrels, a 10-week high.
"February is always a weak month for sales every year and this year, it's going to be worse," a Singapore-based bunker trader told S&P Global Platts. "You have the coronavirus, weak global economy and political uncertainty in some parts [of the world]."
Fujairah is not the only port showing gains in supplies of heavy residues. In Singapore, commercial onshore residue stocks climbed to a seven-month high as of January 29, according to Enterprise Singapore data. In Fujairah, the bulk of bunker suppliers are able to offer deliveries within the next day compared with three to five days out in January, Platts reported previously.
"February is traditionally a slow month for [marine fuel demand]," a UAE-based bunker trader said. "This is due to stockpiling ahead of the Christmas holidays so shippers have enough inventory."
Inventories of gasoline and other light distillates rose 3% to 7.332 million barrels, the most since August 19, 2019, according to the FOIZ data compiled by Platts.
Middle distillates inventories rose 1% to 4.058 million barrels, a three-week high and the second consecutive weekly gain. The category includes jet fuel, marine bunker gasoil, kerosene and diesel.
Platts holds exclusive rights to publish Fujairah oil inventory data, and has deployed a blockchain network for its collation.
FOIZ was established to develop the petroleum strategy for investment in the region. According to FOIZ, 11 terminals are participating in the weekly stock reporting, including storage volume involved in activities such as blending and refining.