ARA Oil Product Stocks Went Up (Week 2 – 2021)

January 14, 2021 – The total amount of oil products held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose over the past week, with a rise in naphtha stocks offsetting a downturn in gasoil inventories, according to consultancy Insights Global.

Naphtha stocks reached their highest since June 2020 during the week to yesterday, with inflows to the region being supported by firm demand from petrochemical end-users around northwest Europe. An LR2 arrived from Algeria and cargoes also arrived from Russia, while no naphtha departed the region on seagoing tankers.

The volume departing the region on barges for petrochemical sites along the river Rhine was stable on the week at a high level, with naphtha pricing well below the level of rival petrochemical feedstocks.

A fall in gasoil stocks largely offset the rise in naphtha inventories. Gasoil stocks fell as well, weighed down by the departure of tankers for west Africa and France, where refinery shutdowns are weighing heavily on overall production. Only three of the country’s seven refineries are currently processing crude.

France also received some gasoline from the ARA area, delivered by barge along the river Rhine, while gasoline barge flows into the ARA area from German refineries remained steady at a high level. The overall volume of gasoline held in independent storage rose despite the arrival of barges from Germany and gasoline tankers from France, Russia, the UK and Ireland, as tankers departed the region for Canada, west Africa and the US. Tonnes of European gasoline was booked to head transatlantic last week, a one-month high.

Fuel oil stocks were up, with the departure of low sulphur cargoes to the Mideast Gulf and Mediterranean areas being more than offset by the arrival of an aframax from Estonia and smaller cargoes from France, Germany, Norway, Russia and the UK. Jet fuel stocks fell. A part cargo arrived into the ARA area from the Mideast Gulf on board the Ploutos, which had sailed round the cape of Good Hope to take better advantage of the contango in the Ice gasoil forward curve.

Reporter: Thomas Warner