ARA independent product stocks at one-year low

London – Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 2.4pc on the week today to 4.83mn t, the lowest recorded since 30 November 2017.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 13pc amid strong demand from east of Suez. The Solomon Sea left Rotterdam on 27 November carrying a 100,000t cargo. Smaller tankers also left the ARA area for the Mideast Gulf and west Africa. Cargoes arrived from France, Russia and the UK.

Gasoil stocks fell by 3pc, the lowest level recorded since June. Low Rhine water levels continued to affect the market, limiting barge flows from the ARA into Germany. Market participants continued to use tankers to load gasoil in the ARA area and transporting it to north German seaports for onward distribution. Demand from inland fell on the week, impacted by higher freight rates. Tankers arrived from Russia and departed for Germany, France, the UK and west Africa.

Gasoline stocks rose by 1.1pc. The US Atlantic and Gulf coasts remained well supplied, limiting interest in European gasoline from across the Atlantic. West Africa was the only region to receive gasoline cargoes from the ARA during the week to today. Gasoline flows into Germany were steady but volumes of blending components coming the other way fell on the week because of weakening gasoline refining margins.

Naphtha stocks rose by 28pc. Inventories were supported by the contango structure in the naphtha market, resulting from an ongoing supply overhang. Demand both from gasoline blenders and petrochemical users remained low during the week to today, and barge flows up the river Rhine to inland end-users dwindled. No tankers left the ARA area and tankers arrived from Algeria, Libya, Russia, Sweden and the US.

Jet fuel stocks rose by 1.7pc to a seven-week high of 656,000t. Tankers arrived from the east of Suez into UK ports, easing the regional tightness seen in regional weeks, and demand was lacklustre. The Fos Picasso arrived into Rotterdam on 27 November with 90,000t of jet fuel from the UAE but had not offloaded at time of writing. As with other products, barge flows into Germany were constrained by low water levels.