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Yasref Refinery In Saudi Arabia To Load First Gasoline Cargoes

Yasref Refinery In Saudi Arabia To Load First Gasoline Cargoes

On Feb. 6, the 400,000 barrels per day refinery will load a 60,000 tonne cargo of gasoline on the Serengeti.

The Yasref refinery in Saudi Arabia, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and China’s Sinopec, will load its first gasoline cargoes later this week, according to traders and shipping fixtures.

On Feb. 6, the 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery, which has already shipped its first diesel cargoes, will load a 60,000 tonne cargo of gasoline on the Serengeti, a panamax tanker booked by Total’s shipping arm.

The cargo will go to Fujairah, rather than Asia, as some traders originally expected.

Total has also nominated the panamax Constantinos for another 60,000 tonne gasoline cargo to load at Yanbu on Feb. 10. This is also likely to stay within the Middle East, according to the fixture’s destination.

“I think they want to keep some of the barrels within Saudi so will move it from Yanbu to other ports such as Ras Tanura. It’s a long way to go and it’s easier than trucking it,” one trader said.

European-based traders and refiners are anxiously monitoring exports from the Yasref refinery as the new capacity will erode their market share.

Mediterranean refiners in particular are thought likely to be vulnerable to a ramp up in exports from the Middle East. “It would eventually put pressure on the Med as we export from Europe to the Red Sea,” a trader said.

The refinery is expected to reach full capacity in mid-February.

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