As IMO 2020-mandated marine fuel requirements took effect, oil products stockpiles at the UAE’s Fujairah trading hub rose over the past week. In response, Fujairah is expanding shipping facilities for refined products and crude, as well as extending its storage plans.

The company also plans to conduct spot checks this year on ships taking bunker fuel, to make sure they comply with the new rule, Captain Mousa Murad, (the port’s general manager), told S&P Global Platts last month.

Fujairah Oil Industry Zone reported on Wednesday that stockpiles of heavy distillates and residues, including marine fuel, advanced 11% to 11.205 million barrels (as of January 6). Total inventories, including light, middle and heavy distillates, jumped about 12% to 20.735 million barrels, which marks a two-week high.

The International Maritime Organization’s 2020 rule came into effect on January 1, requiring ships to use fuel that has no more than 0.5% sulfur, compared to the 3.5% limit that was previously in place. 

Elsewhere, middle distillates fell 2.1% to 3.644 million barrels in the past week and light distillates rose almost 24% to 5.886 million barrels. 

  • For clarity, heavy distillates include fuels used for power generation, while middle distillates cover jet fuel, kerosene, gasoil, diesel and marine bunker gasoil.
  • The light distillates category includes gasoline, gasoline blending components like reformate and alkylate, naphtha, and other light petrochemical feedstocks and condensates that are stored in white product tanks and are of an API of 45 degrees and above.

Light distillates was the only category to show an inventory decline for 2019, falling 51% after more than doubling in 2018 and declining almost 15% in 2017. Middle distillates jumped 155% last year and heavy distillates climbed 62%. Total stocks rose 7% for the year after a 2.3% gain in 2018 and a 12% drop in 2017. The Fujairah Oil Industry Zone data started being reported in 2017.

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20th January 2020