ARA independent product stocks fall

London, 21 June (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by just over 2pc week-on-week to reach 5.6mn t today.

The decrease in total stocks was driven by a 5pc fall in gasoil inventories, to around 2mn t. Diesel demand from inland Germany is firmer relative to recent weeks, and falling Rhine water levels have prompted a pick-up in gasoil barge traffic on the river in expectation of higher freight prices.

Gasoil cargoes arrived in the ARA area from Finland, Russia and the US at lower levels than those reported in recent weeks. Significant diesel volumes are currently being booked to arrive in Europe from east of Suez. Vessels left the area for Spain and the UK. The premium of second-month Ice gasoil futures to the front-month contract rose on 20 June to its highest in more than three months, at $1/bl.

Fuel oil stocks rose by 3.6pc on the week to a 15-month high of 1.53mn t, having built up in recent weeks amid minimal fuel oil loadings in Rotterdam and steady imports. Stocks should fall next week as two Singapore-bound VLCCs are currently in Rotterdam waiting to load up to 540,000t of fuel oil. The two vessels – Front Prince and Saham – booked by trading firm Vitol and an unnamed charterer, respectively, are the first VLCCs booked on the route to Asia-Pacific since March.

Gasoline stocks fell by 4pc week-on-week as a result of lower import volumes and an increase in exports, particularly to the US. But stock levels remain high and the European gasoline market continues to be oversupplied. Cargoes arrived from Finland, France, Norway and the UK. Vessels left the area for Algeria, the Mideast Gulf, Canada, Estonia, Latin America, west Africa and the US.

Jet fuel stocks declined by 3pc over the past week amid seasonally high demand and no seaborne cargo arrivals. Demand from buyers along the Rhine also firmed. A single cargo left the ARA area, bound for the UK.

Naphtha stocks fell by nearly 5pc to 329,000t. The naphtha market remains in backwardation, but stored volumes are still above the weekly average recorded so far this year, as a result of weak demand from gasoline blenders and general supply length around Europe. Cargoes arrived from Russia and the UK.

Reporter: Thomas Warner