Traders Race to Move ARA Diesel Up Rhine as River Dries: PJK

(Bloomberg) — Rhine barge flows of diesel/gasoil have
increased to 150k tons a week (~160k b/d) from lows of less than 100k tons/week in May, Lars van Wageningen, operations manager at PJK International, says by phone.
* “Demand is quite high due to falling water levels. Quite some diesel is flowing inland,” Wageningen says, adding that flows expected to continue rising into next week.
* READ: Barge rates to Basel surge amid falling water levels.
* Says backwardation in gasoil last 2 months significantly limited demand for shipments up the Rhine, but shift into contango has reversed that trend and is now encouraging stockpiling.
** NOTE: 1M-2M contango stood at $1/ton on Thursday, compared with $4.25 of backwardation a month ago: ICE Futures Europe data.
* Van Wageningen sees inland demand staying strong in coming months ahead as “hardly any winter gasoil stockpiling was done during the period of backwardation”.
* Diesel/gasoil flows surged to 250k tons in March, highest this year, when cold weather prompted a surge in gasoil flows to meet high heating demand.
* Gasoline and component flows are mixed between flows up and down the Rhine but generally about 25k tons per week of gasoline, components are sent to ARA.
* Also says jet fuel flows inland to Germany have increased in recent weeks to about 10k-15k tons per week; inland market mostly served by pipeline.
** NOTE: Figures compiled by PJK are for total Rhine flows; almost all diesel/gasoil Rhine barge flows inland from ARA, while gasoline/components can flow in both directions; naphtha also travels inland while fuel oil is exported to ARA.
Reporter: Bill Lehane