ARA Oil Products Stocks Rise (Week 45 – 2020)

November 5, 2020 — Oil products held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub edged up over the past week after hitting eight-week lows a week earlier.

Stocks rose in the week to 4 November, supported by rises in gasoil, naphtha and jet fuel inventories, according to data from consultancy Insights Global.

Jet fuel stocks rose to fresh all-time highs for the third consecutive week, amid persistently low demand from the commercial aviation sector.

The reintroduction of Covid-19 restrictions across large parts of Europe has put fresh pressure on the demand outlook for jet fuel.

Jet fuel cargoes arrived in the ARA area from Singapore and the UAE over the past week, more than offsetting shipments departing for Ireland and the UK.

Gasoil stocks rose on the week despite several cargoes departing for the US and Canada in a rare reversal of the usual arbitrage route.

Tankers carrying gasoil also departed ARA for destinations elsewhere in northwest Europe, while gasoil arrived from Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Gasoil demand from the European hinterland was steady on the week, but high inventories at depots along the river Rhine appear likely to curtail barge flows as November progresses.

Naphtha stocks rose, boosted by cargoes arriving from Algeria, Russia and the UK. Only one tanker carrying naphtha departed ARA.

Trading firm Vitol booked the Captain Spiro to carry cargo from Rotterdam to Brazil, where it will be used as a petrochemical feedstock.

Demand for naphtha from petrochemical plants within northwest Europe was supported over the past week by high prices of rival feedstocks.

The volume of naphtha heading up the river Rhine on barges rose on the week as a result.

Gasoline inventories fell, drained by cargoes departing ARA for east and west Africa, as well as the Mediterranean, Canada and the Caribbean.

No gasoline tankers departed on the typical trade route to the US, where inventories rose in every region except the west coast last week.

Delays in the blending component barge market around Amsterdam dissipated after some congestion developed during the previous week.

Fuel oil stocks fell on the week, with exports picking up in a quiet market. Tankers carrying fuel oil arrived in ARA from Denmark, France,

Russia and Sweden and departed for the Mideast Gulf, the Mediterranean and west Africa.

Reporter: Thomas Warner