ARA gasoline stocks hit five-year lows (week 32 – 2021)
Independently-held inventories of gasoline in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading and storage hub fell to their lowest since October 2016 over the past week, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.
Overall refined product stocks, essentially unchanged from the level recorded a week earlier. Stocks of gasoil and fuel oil rose, while naphtha, jet fuel and gasoline fell. Gasoline inventories fell for the fifth consecutive week to reach their lowest in almost five years. Outflows to the US rose on the week, owing to firm demand from consumers, and outflows to west Africa also rose over the same period. Tankers also departed for Canada, Germany, Ireland and the Mediterranean. Gasoline blending activity appeared to increase as the week progressed, as producers work to meet the demand from consumers in Europe and in export markets. Tankers carrying finished-grade gasoline or blending components arrived from Denmark, Italy, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the UK.
Naphtha inventories fell heavily on the week. Flows of naphtha up the river Rhine on barges slowed for the second consecutive week. Several regional end-users have suffered from technical issues in recent weeks, while high water levels have hampered the trade in Rhine barges. Naphtha demand from around the ARA area itself appeared robust. No naphtha tankers departed ARA, while tankers arrived from Russia and the US. Flows of naphtha into Europe from the US Gulf Coast reached their highest in at least four years in July, according to Vortexa data, and are likely to continue at elevated levels during August.
Gasoil stocks ticked up, having reached their lowest since 20 May a week earlier. The flow of barges up the river Rhine into Germany from the ARA area rose on the week, but from a very low base. Refineries inland are producing ample middle distillate cargoes in their efforts to take advantage of high gasoline refining margins, reducing the need for fresh cargoes. Tankers arrived from Russia and the US, and departed for France, Ireland and the UK.
Jet fuel stocks fell on the week, weighed down by rising consumption at northwest European airports. A single cargo arrived in the ARA area from Kuwait.
Fuel oil inventories rose to reach five-week highs. Tankers arrived from Denmark, Estonia, Russia, Spain and the UK, and departed for the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, the US and west Africa.
Reporter: Thomas Warner