ARA oil product stocks lowest in four months

Oil products inventories held independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area fell week on week, led by sharp drops in fuel oil and naphtha stocks.

Total inventories reached their lowest since the week to 23 May as stocks of all products surveyed fell. Fuel oil inventories fell by more than any other surveyed product, dropping on the week to reach seven-week lows. Tankers left for the Mediterranean and west Africa, and arrived from the Baltics, France, Russia and the US. The volume arriving from Russia fell on the week, pulling down overall inventories.

Gasoline stocks reached their lowest since 31 May. Demand from other regions continued to prompt tankers to depart ARA carrying gasoline cargoes. Vessels departed for Canada, the Mediterranean, Mexico, Argentina, the US and the Mideast Gulf. Outflows to the Mideast Gulf are being supported by the disruption to the Saudi Arabian refining sector following the attacks on 14 September. And tankers continue to depart for west Africa and southern hemisphere destinations carrying summer-grade gasoline that can no longer be used in Europe. The high level of gasoline blending activity continued to cause congestion around key terminals in ARA, with barges and tankers competing for loading and discharge jetties.

Naphtha inventories fell to reach six-week lows, owing to low inflows and firm demand from local gasoline blenders using naphtha in the production of export volumes. Tankers arrived from France, Portugal and Russia and none departed. Jet fuel stocks in ARA fell, broadly in line with seasonal expectations, and a single tanker arrived in the area from the Mideast Gulf. Tankers departed for the UK and Ireland.

Gasoil inventories fell on the week. Tankers arrived from Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US and departed for Brazil, the UK and the Mediterranean. Flows from ARA into Germany along the river Rhine were marginally higher on the week, but remained near six-month lows. Demand for heating oil remained low in line with seasonal expectations.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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