ARA independent product stocks lowest since August

(Argus) – Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 2.6pc from a week earlier to a nine-week low of 5.3mn t, prompted by falling stocks of all recorded products.

Naphtha stocks fell by 16pc to 241,000t, the lowest level since 11 May 2018. Outflows to inland end-users were marginally higher than the level recorded a week earlier. Tankers arrived from Russia and the UK, and none were reported leaving the area. Northwest European naphtha prices are at their lowest since April, inhibiting arbitrage inflows from other regions.

Stocks of gasoil fell by 51,000t to 2.51mn t, the lowest level recorded since 30 August, amid firm demand. German 10ppm diesel barge differentials have found support across the last week, potentially aided by a brief recovery in Rhine water levels. Water levels rose to 53cm at key measuring point Kaub today, according to shipping reports, from just 27cm on 24 October — allowing a greater number of barges to access firm demand from German inland markets. Diesel barge differentials climbed to premiums of $5/t against Ice November gasoil at the close of October, from premiums of $3.75/t on 25 October. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Saudi Arabia and the US, and departed for the United Kingdom.

Gasoline stocks fell by 11,000t to 985,000t. Volumes heading up the Rhine into Germany were higher than those coming the other way, with refinery activity in the country impeded by low water levels and outages. Tankers departed for the Mideast Gulf, Suez for orders and the UAE. Tankers arrived from Finland, France, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 2.4pc to 944,000t, the lowest level since the first week of April amid firm demand from east of Suez. The fall in inventories was prompted by the loading and departure of at least two Suezmax-sized cargoes during the week to today. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Latvia, Poland, Russia and the UK.

No jet kerosene cargoes arrived in the ARA area during the week to today, and inventories reached their lowest level since 17 May at 626,000t. Backwardation in underlying Ice gasoil futures made the economics of storing jet fuel in tank unviable.

Reporter: Thomas Warner