Independent ARA Oil Product Stocks Fall Back

May 14, 2020 – The volume of oil products held independently in storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and trading hub fell during the past week, after reaching four-year highs a week earlier.

Inventories of all surveyed products fell on the week. Gasoline stocks fell most heavily on an outright basis, with inventories decreasing by on the week. Tankers departed the area for China, the Mediterranean, Port Said for orders, the US and west Africa. Demand from the US has increased over the past week as more states ease the restrictions originally prompted by the Covid-19 outbreak. Tankers arrived from France, Spain and the UK.

Naphtha stocks fell most heavily in percentage terms, dropping on the week. The volume of naphtha leaving the ARA for inland destinations along the river Rhine was low, and inventories inland remained high. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Algeria, Russia and the UK and none departed.

Jet fuel stocks fell on the week. Low consumer demand brought refining margins to fresh all-time lows on 13 May. Negative jet fuel margins across the globe have resulted in refiners maximising diesel output at the expense of jet fuel, reducing the overall volume of jet fuel produced. A cargo departed the ARA area for the UK and none arrived.

Gasoil inventories fell. The flow of gasoil barges up the river Rhine reached its highest level since September, supported by an increase in Rhine water levels and higher consumer demand for diesel inland. But diesel margins remained at four-year lows on high stocks around the continent.

Fuel oil stocks were effectively stable on the week, falling slightly. Local demand for bunker fuels provided little outlet for fuel oil, but tankers did depart for the Mideast Gulf, the Mediterranean and the North Sea for orders. An Aframax arrived from Russia, while smaller cargoes arrived from Denmark, Finland, Italy and the UK.

Reporter: Thomas Warner