ARA Oil Product Stocks Fall (Week 4 – 2021)

January 28, 2021 – The total amount of oil products held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell over the past week, according to consultancy Insights Global.

Stocks of all surveyed products fell, with the exception of fuel oil. Fuel oil stocks rose to reach their highest since late November.

The increase in available supply is weighing heavily on marine fuel prices in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area and creating export opportunities.

The VLCC Olympic Legend is currently waiting at the Port of Rotterdam and is likely to depart the area carrying a fuel oil cargo.

Fuel oil tankers departed the ARA area for the Mediterranean during the week to yesterday, and arrived from France, Poland, Russia and the UK.

All other inventories fell over the course of the reporting period. The heaviest fall on an outright basis was recorded on gasoil, which includes all middle distillates except for jet fuel. Flows up the river Rhine into France and Germany were broadly stable at their lowest since October 2020, weighed down by poor end-user demand for diesel.

The fall in stocks was prompted by the departure of gasoil tankers for France, Germany, the UK, west Africa and the Suezmax Sea Beauty departed for the Mediterranean. Tankers arrived from Latvia and Russia.

Gasoline inventories fell despite relatively low outflows to key export markets the US and west Africa. Cargoes departed instead for the Mideast Gulf, the Caribbean, Canada, east Africa, India and the Mediterranean.

There was no sign of any gasoline blending component barge congestion in the Amsterdam area, which suggests that the overall level of blending activity remains muted. Interest from consumers in northwest Europe is low, owing to Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Naphtha stocks continued to fall back from the six-month highs reached in mid-January, dropping on the week.

The volume of naphtha departing the ARA area for inland petrochemical sites fell on the week, as naphtha demand from the sector came under pressure from lighter rival feedstocks.

The fall in stocks came despite the arrival of tankers from Algeria, Russia and the UK.

Jet fuel inventories fell to their lowest since August with no cargoes arriving during the week to yesterday and tankers departing for Ireland and the UK.

Reporter: Thomas Warner