ARA stocks inch lower as demand picks up (Week 50)

ARA stocks inch lower as demand picks up (Week 50)

Independently-held product stocks at the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub edged lower in the week to 13 December according to data from Insights Global, following a draw on gasoline stocks. Dock worker strikes in Belgium, which held up loading and unloading operations last week, were concluded by the end of the week, according to the consultancy.

The data from Insights Global indicated that gasoline stocks in the ARA dropped in the week to 13 December. Significant export demand has emerged on the week, pulling gasoline cargoes to west Africa and transatlantic destinations, weighing on gasoline inventories. Inland demand started to slow down on the week, according to Insights Global, as Germany’s Miro refining joint venture has concluded maintenance at its Karlsruhe refinery.

With more refining capacity coming online, import demand for gasoil cargoes has steadily declined, increasing stocks on the week. Demand remained elevated up the Rhine as logistical disruptions along the river were still weighing on regional supply.

The arbitrage route to Singapore from ARA remained open on the week, drawing fuel oil stocks, but export opportunities could soon be gone, according to Insights Global. The most recent data from Enterprise Singapore showed that the city state’s fuel oil stocks rose to a three-month high.

Strong naphtha export demand from the Mediterranean to Asia-Pacific pushed up stocks in the northwest European market, according to Insights Global, while petrochemical demand remained weak in the region. Independently-held naphtha stocks rose by 45pc to 285,000t on the week, the highest reported number since June.

By Mykyta Hryshchuk