ARA Oil Product Stocks Reach Fresh 11-Month Lows

21 November, 2019 (Argus) — The total volume of oil products stocks held independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) area fell in the week to yesterday, and reached their lowest since December 2018, according to the latest data from consultancy Insights Global.

Inventory levels in ARA typically reach their lowest during late autumn and winter owing to end-of-year destocking and anticipated lower winter demand that impacts production during the third quarter. Fuel oil and gasoline inventories were the only two surveyed product groups to record week-on-week rises.

The arrival of fuel oil cargoes from Canada, France, Italy, Poland and Russia more than offset the departure from ARA of the Aframax Minerva Concert for Singapore, and the departure of two panamaxes for west Africa.

Gasoline inventories rose by 0.9pc on the week, supported by inflows from France, Germany, Italy and the UK. The volume of barge traffic was broadly stable and no congestion was reported at loading and discharge terminals. Tankers departed the region for the Mediterranean, Mexico, the US and west Africa.

Inventories of all other products fell incrementally on the week. Gasoil stocks dropped amid firming demand for heating oil in the European hinterland, which contributed to a rise in middle distillate barge bookings. Barge traffic from ARA into Germany was also supported by falling Rhine water levels, with market participants working to bring in cargoes before loading restrictions increase further. Tankers departed ARA for Brazil, Ireland, the UK, the US and west Africa and arrived from India, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Naphtha inventories fell on the week and demand from petrochemical end-users along the river Rhine weakened, reducing barge activity. No naphtha tankers departed ARA and cargoes arrived from Algeria, France, Latvia, Poland, Russia and the UK.

Jet fuel stocks in ARA fell. Demand was low in line with seasonal expectations, and ample supply particularly in the Mediterranean continued to weigh on European jet fuel premiums to the underlying gasoil contract. No tankers arrived or departed carrying jet fuel cargoes.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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