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Highlights

Heavy distillates exports at highest since January: Kpler

Fuel oil in demand in Middle East for air conditioning

Fujairah bunker business 'still doing pretty well': Prostar

Dubai — Stockpiles of oil products at Fujairah in the UAE dropped for a third consecutive week to the lowest in almost five months, led by declines in marine bunkers and power fuels.

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The total stood at 23.241 million barrels as of Sept. 14, down 0.3% from a week earlier and the lowest since April 20, according to data from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone on Sept. 16. Heavy distillates, which covers fuels for ships and for power generation, declined 6% to 12.552 million barrels, the lowest since March 9.

Fujairah heavy distillates exports reached 9.088 million barrels in August, the most since January, according to data from Kpler. Fujairah recently shipped 750,000 barrels of high sulfur fuel oil to Saudi Arabia's Shuqaiq power plant, the data show.

Many Middle Eastern members of the OPEC+ coalition have previously told S&P Global Platts that they would need extra crude supplies for electricity generation during a hot August, when air conditioning units are running at full tilt.

Prostar, which owns Fujairah Oil Terminal and GTI Fujairah storage terminals, also sees bunkering continuing to flourish.

"Fujairah has done very well, and the reason it's doing that is its bunker business is still up," Tony Quinn, operating partner of Prostar Capital, told a Gulf Intelligence webinar on Sept. 16. "It's still doing pretty well and we're seeing that through the volumes through our two terminals there."

Stockpiles of middle distillates slipped 0.3% to 3.793 million barrels, the lowest in four weeks, while light distillates rose 12% to 6.896 million barrels, the biggest jump in eight weeks.

The inventory report has been provided exclusively to S&P Global Platts since January 2017.