ARA independent product stocks remain stable

London – Oil product volumes held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub were broadly unchanged on the week today.

Gasoil inventories rose this week. Demand from the European hinterland rose week on week to reach its highest level since May 2018, with falling temperatures continuing to bolster demand for heating oil. But the increase in barge flows was more than offset by an rise in seaborne volumes from from Latvia, Russia and the US, for the second consecutive week.

Fuel oil inventories fell week on week. The very large crude carrier (VLCC) As Suwayq remained in Rotterdam loading a 270,000t for Singapore delivery. Three eastbound VLCC bookings have emerged so far during January, compared with none in December. This is mostly a result of falling freight rates, and high inventories in Europe compared with the Asia-Pacific region. A single Suezmax departed for Singapore during the week to today.

Gasoline stocks remained around the nine-month high recorded in recent weeks. Ample supply in north America weighed on demand from the US Atlantic coast and the US Gulf, weighing on northwest European prices and stimulating an increase in tanker bookings for destinations east of Suez.

Naphtha inventories fell as a result of firm demand from inland petrochemical end-users. An anticipated fall in Rhine water levels helped add urgency to naphtha buying from the petrochemical sector this week, but demand from gasoline blenders remained low on ample supply in key markets.

Jet fuel stocks rose amid lower demand week on week. No jet barges were recorded leaving ARA for discharge along the Rhine, and the Long Range 2 (LR2) tanker SFL Trinity arrived in Rotterdam carrying a 90,000t cargo from Ruwais on 15 January. It was not clear whether the entire cargo was offloaded.

Reporter: Tom Warner