Oil product stockpiles at the UAE’s Fujairah port rebounded from a 13-month low, with middle distillates expanding to near the record high set in June.
Inventories as of Nov. 2 were at 20.243 million barrels, up 9.6% from a week earlier, according to data from the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone on Nov. 4.
Stocks of jet fuel, diesel and other middle distillates climbed 26% on the week to 5.447 million barrels, the highest since June 15 and close to the record 5.997 million barrels set on June 1, according to the data provided exclusively to S&P Global Platts.
Stockpiles of light distillates such as gasoline also jumped 26% to 5.303 million barrels, after hitting a record low on Oct. 26.
Heavy distillates and residues such as marine bunkers and fuel for power generation declined 5% on the week to 9.493 million barrels.
Middle distillates stockpiles have ballooned 46% this year as the coronavirus pandemic crippled demand for jet fuel, the worst hit transportation fuel from travel restrictions. Lockdowns recently called in France, Germany and England will likely take a toll on European gasoil demand, Platts reported in a separate note on Nov. 4.
Light distillates are up 11% this year and heavy distillates are down 5.8%, leaving the total inventories up 9% for 2020 so far. Total stockpiles on Oct. 26 were only 18.465 million barrels, the lowest since September 2019.
Volatility in marine bunker prices led to more buying interest from shipowners, according to the Platts report. Fujairah-delivered marine fuel with 0.5% sulfur was at $325/mt on Nov. 3, $8/mt lower than in Singapore, according to Platts assessments.