ARA independent product stocks rise

Argus) — Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose by 3.3pc from a week earlier to 5.48mn t, prompted largely by a sharp rise in fuel oil stocks.

Fuel oil stocks rose by 33.3pc to a seven-week high of 1.26mn t. The Eagle San Francisco and the Frio — both Suezmax-sized tankers — are currently in Rotterdam awaiting loading. Firm demand from east of Suez continues to draw smaller cargoes into ARA for loading into larger tankers. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Canada, France, Latvia, Russia, Spain and the UK. A single tanker left the area for west Africa.

Naphtha stocks also rose, increasing by 8.3pc to 261,000t. Outflows to inland end users remained under downward pressure from problems arising from low Rhine water levels. Naphtha demand from gasoline blenders in northwest Europe also remained low. Dwindling demand from end users in Asia-Pacific limited viable outlets for European naphtha, helping to bring outright prices to their lowest since February, at $545.50/t. Vessels arrived from Algeria, Finland, France, Norway and the UK. None left the area.

Jet kerosene stocks rose by 2.9pc to 644,000t. The Pro Triumph arrived into Rotterdam on 4 November carrying an 80,000t jet fuel cargo from India, and a single tanker departed for the UK. Steep backwardation in underlying Ice gasoil futures made the economics of storing jet fuel in tank unattractive, creating an incentive for end users to consume purchased volumes promptly.

Stocks of gasoil fell by 133,000t to 2.38mn t, the lowest level recorded since 19 July, amid tight supply in Europe. Margins for French 10ppm diesel cargoes on a cif Le Havre basis climbed to $23.85/bl against North Sea Dated yesterday, from $20.48/bl a week earlier — to their widest point since November 2012. Margins have averaged some $14.69/bl in the year to date. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Russia and the US, and departed for the UK, west Africa and Germany. Low Rhine water levels have prompted market participants to transport gasoil to north German ports on tankers, before sending them inland via rail.

Gasoline stocks fell by 42,000t to 943,000t, the lowest level since late 20 September. Remaining supply of summer-grade product helped incentivise bookings to Argentina and Australia. Tankers also left for Latin America, China and west Africa. Tankers arrived from Denmark, France, Italy, Norway and the UK. Northwest Europe remained amply supplied. As with gasoil, gasoline was increasingly being transported into inland Germany by rail in response to low Rhine water levels.

Reporter: Thomas Warner