ARA Oil Product Stocks Rise (Week 3 – 2021)

January 21, 2021 – The total amount of oil products held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose over the past week, according to consultancy Insights Global.

The overall rise was the result of significant increases in stocks of gasoil and fuel oil.

Low end-user demand for diesel made tank storage an attractive option for northwest European refiners, and inventories climbed to reach their highest level since 5 November.

Road fuel consumption has fallen so low in northwest Europe that some market participants in the region have been blending diesel into heating oil cargoes.

Demand for heating oil in northwest Europe is receiving some seasonal support from low temperatures. Gasoil cargoes arrived into the ARA area from Finland and Russia, and departed for the UK and France.

Fuel oil inventories rose by even more than those of gasoil, owing to an influx of cargoes from the Baltic area. Stocks rose, as Aframax tankers arrived into the ARA area from Russia and Estonia, with smaller cargoes arriving from Latvia and France.

Fuel oil demand within the ARA area is under pressure this week from poor weather around Antwerp, which is disrupting bunkering activity.

Gasoline inventories rose, supported by a week on week downturn in outflows from the region. No gasoline tankers departed for west Africa and
transatlantic exports fell on the week.

Tankers did depart for the Mideast Gulf and the Mediterranean, and arrived from Finland, Italy, Sweden and the UK. Some blending components arrived from France, while some finished grade material went up the Rhine into eastern France on barges.

Naphtha stocks fell back from the six-month highs reached the prior week, dropping as barge flows from the ARA area to inland Rhine destinations held steady at a high level. The fall in stocks came despite the arrival of tankers from Algeria, France and Norway.

Jet fuel inventories were virtually unchanged on the week, as the departure of a few small cargoes to the UK was largely offset by the arrival of a single cargo from the Mediterranean.

Reporter: Thomas Warner