ARA Independent Fuel Oil Stocks Hit Four-Month Low (Week 38 – 2022)
Independently-held oil products inventories in Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) held steady on the week, according to consultancy Insights Global, as a drop in fuel oil and gasoline stocks was balanced out by rising gasoil, naphtha and jet storage.
Fuel oil stocks fell to their lowest since June, marking a week-on-week drop. Unworkable export economics to Asia-Pacific bunkering hub Singapore could have weighed on demand for taking out storage in ARA for assembling large cargoes for long-haul exports.
Fuel oil stocks also fell on the back of a slowdown in imports from Russia. No imports of Russian fuel oil into ARA have been spotted since late-July, as EU sanctions on coal from 10 August include customs codes which fuel oil is be exported under if the aromatics content is higher.
Gasoline stocks also dropped lower on the week. Improved economics for long-haul exports out of Europe could have contributed to the drop in stocks, while autumn maintenance at European refineries could also be providing a ceiling to output.
More gasoline was reported to be heading up the river Rhine into France.
Naphtha stocks meanwhile rose on the week, amid an increase in demand for the product as a gasoline blending component. Demand from the other major outlet — the petrochemical sector — has slowed because extreme natural gas prices have prompted run cuts at petrochemical facilities.
Gasoil stocks rose on the week, driven higher by firm imports into northwest Europe, which is structurally short of diesel. Product continued to arrive from Russia, as well as ports in the Mideast Gulf and Asia-Pacific as buyers begin to source alternative supplies ahead of EU sanctions deadlines on Russian oil imports in February.
Jet fuel stocks also rose because of higher import. With seasonal demand from the aviation sector slowing, jet imports could be blended into the diesel pool, particularly given extremely-high crack spreads for the latter product.
Reporter: Robert Harvey