ARA independent product stocks down on fuel oil draw

London, 31 January (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell on the week, with a sharp fall in fuel oil inventories outweighing stock rises in every other recorded product.

Fuel oil inventories fell by 27pc week on week to their lowest level since 29 November 2018. Falling stocks levels in Asia-Pacific and lower freight rates in January helped open arbitrage routes and stimulated bookings of several very large crude carriers (VLCCs). No VLCCs were recorded leaving the ARA area during the week to today but at least three Suezmax and one Aframax tanker departed the area for the Mediterranean and west Africa. Incoming tankers arrived from Poland, Russia and the UK.

Naphtha inventories increased, rising from a low base after reaching their lowest level since November 2017 a week earlier. Tankers arrived from Algeria, Russia, Spain and the UK and none were recorded leaving. Vitol booked the Star Energy to carry a 120,000t cargo from the ARA area to Asia-Pacific with loading set for 31 January.

Gasoil inventories rose, increasing for the fourth consecutive week to reach the highest level since the week to 8 November 2018. Firm demand for heating fuels bolstered demand from end-users in the northwest European hinterland, supporting Rhine barge flows. Tankers arrived from Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US. Tankers departed for Denmark, France and the UK.

Gasoline stocks rose, remaining around the nine-month high recorded in recent weeks. Ample supply in north America continues to exert downward pressure on demand for northwest European volumes, but outflows remained healthy with tankers departing for the Mideast Gulf, Brazil, the US, west Africa and to Suez for orders. Tankers arrived from France, Italy, Spain and the UK carrying a variety of different grades of gasoline.

Jet fuel stocks rose by 5pc to reach a 16-week high amid firm demand relative to other regions. Ample supply in the Mediterranean and US Atlantic and Gulf coasts, coupled with an influx of cargoes arriving from east of Suez will continue to jet fuel flows into northwest Europe. Tankers arrived from the Mideast Gulf and South Korea, and departed for the UK.

Reporter: Tom Warner