ARA Oil Product Stocks Fall (Week 1 – 2021)

January 7, 2021 — The total amount of oil products held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub dropped over the past week, with steep falls in fuel oil, naphtha and jet fuel inventories more than offsetting gasoline and gasoil stock builds, according to consultancy Insights Global.

Stocks of gasoline and gasoil rose during the week to 6 January as the resurgence of Covid-19 in Europe prompted another round of lockdown measures in key markets, including Germany.

Gasoline stocks went up, buoyed by the arrival of cargoes from France, Portugal, Russia, Spain and the UK. Outflows to the US fell on the week.

Tankers carrying gasoline also departed ARA for the Mediterranean, Mexico and west Africa.

Gasoil stocks increased, with the arrival of cargoes from the Baltic states and Russia offset by the departure of cargoes for France and Germany.

The volume of diesel heading inland on barges was steady on the week, but more heating oil made its way inland as temperatures dropped.

Stocks of all other surveyed products fell. A very-large crude carrier (VLCC) loaded fuel oil in Rotterdam for the first time since May 2020, according to Vortexa data.

The Haburt loaded fuel oil in Rotterdam on 3 January before heading to Scapa Flow in Scotland to load some Kraken crude, and then departing for Singapore.

Kraken is a heavy crude grade that some Asian buyers have been using for fuel oil blending. Fuel oil cargoes also departed ARA for Saudi Arabia, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and arrived in smaller quantities from Denmark, Poland, Russia and the UK.

Naphtha stocks, having risen the previous week. High naphtha demand from petrochemical plants along the river Rhine prompted a week-on-week increase in naphtha volumes heading inland on barges from the ARA area. Naphtha cargoes arrived in ARA from Norway and Russia.

Jet fuel stocks fell, dipping back below 1mn t. No jet fuel arrived in the ARA area from elsewhere while two small cargoes departed for the UK.

Reporter: Thomas Warner