September 13, 2023 12:04 GMT
Middle Eastern Gasoline Market to Stay Tight in 4Q23
Middle Eastern gasoline supplies will stay tight in the fourth quarter due to regional refinery maintenance, while maintenance in Asia will support premiums, traders told Argusmedia.
- Market participants pointed at tight prompt supplies, reflected in a steep backwardated market structure, with prompt month cargoes at a higher premium to forward months. The September-October spread has been hitting one-year highs in recent weeks.
- "Gasoline is already looking tight for October prompt and the resupply is seen after mid-September-October", a Dubai-based trader said.
- Saudi Aramco’s 460kbpd Satorp refinery in Jubail will have a scheduled turnaround of its No.1 train during October-November. A 240kbpd CDU, the 31kbpd FCC along with other secondary units will undergo maintenance, according to a market source.
- Scheduled turnarounds at three refineries in India during September-October will cut also into exports.
- A delay in the start-up of Iraq's new 140kbpd Karbala refinery has likely prompted SOMO to increase the volumes sought in its gasoline term tender. The Karbala refinery, expected to be up in the second half of 2023, will have a capacity to produce 50-57kbpd of 95R gasoline.
- Gasoline premiums will stay strong at least until November, according to a trader. Tight supplies can cut into Mideast Gulf exports to African markets, with the bulk of the gasoline requirements likely to be met directly from Singapore and the Mediterranean region, the trader added.
- Russian gasoline flows into the Middle East showed signs of losing steam, with the UAE importing only 44,000t of the motor fuel in August, lower than 87,000t in July, according to Vortexa.