ARA oil product stocks highest in over two years

London, 19 July (Argus)  Inventories of oil products independently held in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area have risen in the past week to reach their highest level since May 2017.

Stocks of all surveyed products except naphtha increased, with gasoline inventories rising the most in percentage terms. Tankers loaded with gasoline arrived in ARA from France, Norway, Russia, Spain and the UK in the past week, with inflows from the Mediterranean and Russia notably high. The arbitrage route from northwest Europe to the US remains open and market participants are bringing gasoline and blending components to the region ready for transatlantic export. Tankers left the region for the US, Argentina, the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. The high volume of incoming and outgoing seaborne cargoes added to the congestion in the gasoline barge market, particularly around Amsterdam. Tankers and barges often load and discharge from the same jetties.

Gasoil inventories rose in the past week to reach their highest level since October 2018. Demand along the river Rhine ticked downwards after inland restocking pulled in high volumes during the previous week, and seaborne arrivals from Russia rose. Tankers also arrived from Saudi Arabia and the US, while cargoes left for France, the UK and west Africa.

Fuel oil stocks rose. No tankers departed for key arbitrage destination Singapore, but fuel oil cargoes did depart for the Mediterranean, Saudi Arabia and west Africa. Tankers arrived from Lithuania, Poland and Russia.

Jet fuel stocks in the ARA area rose during the past week. Demand from the aviation sector was firm in line with seasonal expectations, and market participants suggested that there was little spot volume available. Tankers arrived from India and Singapore, and departed for Denmark, Ireland and the UK.

Naphtha inventories bucked the trend, falling on the week amid firm demand from gasoline blenders in the ARA area. Tankers arrived from Algeria, Denmark, France, the Mediterranean, Russia and the UK, while none departed.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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