Fuel oil loaded in Rotterdam is heading to Saudi Arabia, as an expected seasonal ramp up in demand sees the kingdom drawing in volumes from northwest Europe, supplementing more regular sources of supply from across the European region.

At least one, and possibly two, Aframax tankers carrying fuel oil that loaded from terminals in the Rotterdam hub this month are heading towards Saudi Arabia for the first time in around a year, according to observed flows.

The HS Tosca left Rotterdam in mid-May and is signalling its destination as Jeddah, with expected end-May arrival dates. Saudi Aramco booked the tanker to load dirty oil product from Rotterdam in early May for delivery to a Red Sea destination, according to provisional shipping fixtures.

The Dubai Charm also loaded from Rotterdam earlier in the month. Saudi Aramco provisionally booked it to load from Rotterdam at the beginning of May for delivery to the same region, associated fixtures showed. The tanker has yet to broadcast a specific end-destination as it heads towards the Suez Canal, but it could also end up in Saudi Arabia given the fixture.

Aside from the potential delivery of the Rotterdam-loaded tankers, at least four other Aframax tankers estimated to be carrying fuel oil—from Greece, the Baltic region and the Malta hub—have already, or are expected to, arrive at Saudi ports in May.

Saudi Arabia’s import of Russian and European fuel oil this month has already risen from April, as fuel oil demand for use in power generation increases in the run up to the peak summer power consumption period.

Saudi Arabia imports fuel oil from other geographic regions and is also an exporter of fuel oil.