ARA Oil Product Stocks Fall Heavily
London, 14 November (Argus) — Total oil products held independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage hub have fallen over the past week to reach their lowest level since December 2018, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.
Inventory levels in ARA typically reach their lowest point during late autumn and winter.
Fuel oil inventories fell the most, dropping on the week to reach the lowest since May. Tankers carrying fuel oil arrived in ARA from Denmark, France, Poland, Russia and the UK and departed for west Africa and the Mediterranean, most likely for onward transit east of Suez. Less fuel oil arrived from Russia amid rising Russian shipments to the US.
Naphtha inventories fell after a period of tight supply in northwest Europe, resulting from low inflows from the Mediterranean. Barge congestion in the Rotterdam area that disrupted loadings a week earlier eased, following a period of heightened gasoline blending activity. But demand from petrochemical facilities in the area and along the river Rhine remained firm, weighing on inventories. Tankers carrying naphtha arrived in ARA from France, Norway, Russia and the UK over the past week, while none arrived.
Gasoil inventories — the single largest product group by volume — fell on the week to reach their lowest level since March. Imports fell week-on-week and cargoes arrived from Russia only. Low temperatures supported heating oil demand, prompting a rise in barge traffic into Germany. Gasoil tankers also departed for the UK and Brazil.
Gasoline inventories fell on the week, weighed down by a rise in exports. Tankers carrying gasoline departed ARA for the Mediterranean, Puerto Rico, west Africa and the US and arrived from the Baltics, Spain and the UK. Gasoline barge traffic eased week-on-week, but is likely to recover in the coming weeks owing to rising gasoline barge liquidity in the area.
Jet fuel stocks in ARA fell in the past week. Demand was low, in line with seasonal expectations. Supply in Europe remains ample on high arrivals from east of Suez in recent weeks. A total of jet fuel is scheduled to arrive at ports in Europe in November and a preliminary is already scheduled to make the voyage from east of Suez to Europe in December.
Reporter: Thomas Warner