ARA oil product stocks reach 15-week highs

October 08, 2020 – Oil products held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose over the past week to their highest since the week to 25 June, according to data from consultancy Insights Global.

Gasoline stocks rose to reach five-week highs, although shipments to west Africa increased following a new supply agreement between Nigeria’s state-owned NNPC, trading companies and refiners. Tanker bookings showed European gasoline was shipped on the route in each of the past two weeks, the highest in three months. A high level of gasoline blending activity prompted congestion and loading delays in the blending component market, particularly around Amsterdam.

Naphtha stocks rose to reach eight week highs. Demand for the product remains firm in Europe, supporting prices and in turn drawing more cargoes into the area.

Middle distillate markets continued to labour under high inventory levels, with gasoil and jet fuel stocks reaching three and eight week highs, respectively. Gasoil stocks rose on the week, despite the highest weekly volume of gasoil heading up the river Rhine on barges since mid-July. Higher demand was prompted in part by an increase in Rhine water levels. A further 1.1mn t of gasoil remained in floating storage on the North Sea, according to oil analytics firm Vortexa data.

Jet fuel stocks rose, approaching record highs. Seasonally low demand for jet fuel and the reimposition of some Covid-19 restrictions in Europe continued to weigh heavily on demand. A single tanker arrived from the UAE, having travelled via the Cape of Good Hope.

Reporter: Thomas Warner