Europe's April Jet Imports Fall 47% as UAE Cargoes Plunge
Monthly imports of jet fuel tracked being shipped into Europe over April are so far tracked 47% lower than the prior month, as exports from key supplier, United Arab Emirates, tumble.
There are 1.35 million metric tons on 24 vessels seen arriving this month, down from the 1.99 million tons seen in March, according to the OPIS Tanker Tracker.
Fewer ships have been identified loading in the last four weeks at ADNOC's Ruwais refinery at Abu Dhabi. Two shipments on vessels chartered by Dubai-based Mena Energy, the predominant trader buying most of the refinery's output, have arrived in Europe this month and no further vessels are seen.
The tally runs contrary to market expectations, with higher production of jet fuel expected after the 400,000 b/d expansion at Ruwais that boosted middle distillate output.
But this month, cargoes spotted in the market have been much reduced, based on information compiled from traders, brokers and vessel-tracking data. Some 65,000 metric tons from the UAE is scheduled to arrive today in Fiumicino, Italy, loaded from Ruwais on the BW Thames on March 27. A further 40,000-ton cargo on the High Current arrived in Augusta, Italy, on April 3.
Last month, some 695,000 tons on eight tankers was tracked arriving in Europe from the UAE, all of it showing as loading in Ruwais.
Volumes from the Middle East in April are almost totally supplied by Saudi Arabia, with nearly 600,000 tons tracked arriving in Europe over April.
Some 3.4 million tons of jet fuel was shipped to the 28 member countries in the first 11 months of the year from the UAE, making it one of the top three suppliers, according to trade data from Eurostat, the European Commission's statistics database. Just under 22 million tons in total were imported by Europe last year.
Monthly imports from the UAE have been as large as 660,000 tons (Eurostat figures from October 2016) and as small as 220,000 tons in 2015, data shows.
Of the April jet fuel arrivals, some 429,000 metric tons on eight ships is seen arriving in the seven-day period commencing Saturday, April 16, as larger-sized cargoes shipped from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia berth.
Also noted this month is the use of two ships for temporary floating storage. There is 90,000 tons on the LR Aldebaran, at anchor outside the port of Rotterdam for Vitol. Another 90,000 tons is on the King Philippos, sitting off Gibraltar since March 29, vessel satellite-tracking information shows.
Arrivals for May are so far tracked at 867,000 tons on 14 tankers.