ARA independent product stocks fall on the week

Argus – Oil product stocks held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell this week, following the biggest weekly draw in gasoline inventories since March 2017.

Gasoline inventories fell, hitting their lowest levels since 30 August last year, because of a combination of rising demand from the US and west Africa, and from along the Rhine.

Exports from ARA to the US have been supported by firmer demand on the Atlantic coast in recent weeks, because of refinery maintenance there and ahead of the summer driving season. US gasoline imports reached their highest weekly total since June 2011 during the week to 3 May, according to the EIA, with most of the deliveries arriving on the US Atlantic coast.

In west Africa, Nigeria state-owned NNPC is working to rebuild the country’s gasoline inventories. Stock levels fell at the start of April but had recovered to by 23 April and fresh tanker bookings to the country continued to emerge.

Gasoil stocks fell this week. Supply from Primorsk remained low, after independent refiner New Stream suspended supplies from its Antipinsky plant this month. Meanwhile, unviable arbitrage economics to take diesel to northwest Europe from the US limited trade on this route.

Naphtha stocks rose on the week. Workable gasoline arbitrage economics to the US and west Africa supported demand in the ARA area for grades of naphtha used in gasoline blending. Demand from petrochemical end-users was stable amid scheduled turnarounds at Shell’s Moerdijk and German chemical producer BASF’s Antwerp crackers.

Jet fuel stocks were broadly stable, remaining at near two-year highs ahead of peak demand season.

Reporter: Tom Warner

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