ARA independent product stocks fall

(Argus) Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 7.6pc from a week earlier, prompted by a drop in stocks of all products recorded except gasoline.

Stocks of gasoil fell by 11pc to 2.56mn t hitting their lowest level since early September. A lack of incoming cargoes from the US and the Mideast gulf because of higher demand in other key import regions meant that outflows outstripped incoming volumes. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from France, Spain and the UK and departed for Latin America, South Africa, the US and west Africa. Low water levels on the Rhine impacted gasoil flows into Germany further this week.

Most Rhine gasoil barges stayed north of Koblenz, but some passed the bottleneck at Kaub in response to strong demand from upper Rhine destinations. Margins for French 10ppm diesel cargoes on a cif Le Havre basis climbed to $17.59/bl against North Sea Dated yesterday, the widest since 15 August according to Argus data.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 6.8pc to their lowest level since the first week of April, prompted by firm demand from east of Suez. The fall in inventories was prompted by the loading and departure of at least three cargoes during the week to Thursday. The SCF Ural and Chios departed for Singapore during the reporting period carrying 140,000t cargoes, while the Advantage Spring departed with a 130,000t cargo. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Estonia, the Mediterranean, Russia and the US.

Gasoline stocks were broadly unchanged. Outflows were again supported by exports of summer grade product to destinations in the southern hemisphere. Eurobob oxy gasoline is currently trading at a 43¢/bl discount to North Sea Dated crude for the first time in over seven years, with supply outstripping demand in key export markets. Tankers departed for Latin America, South Africa, the US and west Africa.

No jet fuel cargoes arrived in the ARA area during the week to 25 October, and inventories reached their lowest level since 17 May.

Naphtha stocks fell by 16pc, their lowest level since 6 September. Low Rhine water levels again weighed on demand from inland petrochemical end-users.

Tankers arrived from Finland, France, Norway and Poland. Europe remains under a naphtha supply overhang amid low demand from gasoline blenders and petrochemical end-users, prompting a sharp rise in eastbound bookings.

Reporter: Thomas Warner