Oilmarket Blog

ARA independent product stocks rise

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 12 januari 2018 9:14:18

London, 11 January (Argus) — Refined product stocks held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose by more than 650,000t over the past week to reach the highest level since September.

Independent gasoil stocks in the ARA region led the way, gaining nearly 350,000t to reach 2.652mn t today, the highest level since early September. The build in gasoil inventories is partially a result of firm diesel cargo exports from the Baltic region to northwest Europe, while cargo demand in the latter region remains muted. Limited demand for diesel and heating oil barges from the ARA region is also supporting the rise in inventories.

Gasoline stocks rose by 231,000t — or nearly 27pc — because of a high level of imports, while export opportunities were limited. Demand for European gasoline from west Africa has been firm, while stocks in the US rose for the ninth week in a row, reducing reliance on imported product. Total motor gasoline stocks rose by 4.1mn bl to 237.3mn bl in the week to 5 January.

Fuel oil stocks also rose, climbing by just over 10pc from a week earlier as imports from the Baltic region remained at a high level. Russian fuel oil output has increased substantially with the conclusion of refinery maintenance works, which reduced production during the third quarter, making more material available to be exported.

The impact of a high level of imports was partially offset by exports to Asia-Pacific. Two VLCCs — the Gener8 Supreme and the Olympic Luck — finished loading fuel oil and left Rotterdam for Singapore during the past week.

The trade route to Asia-Pacific remains generally workable because of comparatively low VLCC rates, which were last reported at $3mn.

And jet fuel stocks climbed by 4.5pc from a week earlier as product was imported from the Mideast Gulf. The Minerva Pisces, booked by Total, offloaded around 90,000t of jet fuel into Rotterdam this week.

Jet fuel stocks in ARA remain comparatively low as some vessels originally destined for northwest Europe from east of Suez are being diverted to the US.

Naphtha stocks bucked the trend, dropping by around 10.5pc as gasoline blenders and the petrochemicals sector bought the product. Naphtha faces strong competition from petrochemical feedstock propane, which also weighed on demand for the product, while low gasoline exports are likely to weigh on demand from blenders.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA oil product stocks climb

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 8 januari 2018 9:17:24

London, 4 January (Argus) — Oil products stored independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region rose by 3.4pc to 5.1mn t in the week to today, reflecting a substantial gasoil stockbuild, according to consultancy PJK.

Gasoil inventory increased by around 150,000t — or 6.8pc — in the week to 4 January on the back of a slump in export volumes. Seaborne exports came to a standstill and fewer barges were shipped up the Rhine for customers based in the European hinterland. Large inflows from the Baltic, France and Russia also contributed to the stockbuild.

The rise in gasoil inventory could be short-lived as planned maintenance programmes are about to kick in at two major refineries in Saudi Arabia, both of which supply diesel to the ARA region. These refineries are Sasref’s 305,000 b/d Jubail refinery and Satorp’s 400,000 b/d Jubail refinery. A cold snap in the US has triggered the emergence of provisional bookings to take northwest European diesel to the US in a reverse arbitrage.

Fuel oil stock levels rose by 37,000t on the week, reflecting a combination of lower outflows and large imports volumes from Russia and the UK. The Front Stratus — a very large crude carrier (VLCC) chartered by SK Energy— left Rotterdam for Singapore earlier this week. But only half of its shipment was loaded in the week to today, minimising its impact on the week’s numbers. The Olympic Luck, another VLCC, is also currently loading in the ARA region.

Gasoline inventory held steady on the weak as seaborne flows, regional production and barge supply from the hinterland balanced each other. Product came from Finland, France, Sweden, the UK and Spain and was exported to the Mideast Gulf, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, the UK and west Africa. Supply of gasoline from producers along the Rhine climbed to the highest levels since at least seven weeks said PJK.

Naphtha inventory rose by 4.4pc on the week owing to considerable import volumes from the Baltic, France, Russia and the UK. At least one tanker with UK discharge options left the ARA region this week and shipments to customers along the Rhine hit a seven-week high according PJK. While no loading restrictions are currently being applied on the river, high water levels have prompted authorities in southwestern Germany to implement speed restrictions. The river might even be closed to barges from Friday 5 January in the regions around Karslruhe and Basle should water levels continue to rise.

Jet stocks fell by 37,000t as cargoes from India and the Mideast Gulf with northwest Europe discharge options headed to ports outside of the ARA. The region also exported a single MR-sized cargo to Ireland this week.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA fuel oil stocks slide as exports boom

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 5 januari 2018 16:03:31

London, 28 December (Argus) — Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by around 4pc during the past week because of a sharp decline in fuel oil inventories, which slid by nearly a third.

The drop in fuel oil stocks came as vessels continued loading fuel oil from Rotterdam to ship it to Asia-Pacific, taking advantage of favourable export economics and comparatively low freight rates.

On 25 December, the VLCC New Medal finished loading fuel oil and left Rotterdam for Singapore, where it is expected to arrive in early February. Another VLCC is currently loading the product from Rotterdam, also to take it to Singapore. And one Suezmax-sized vessel finished loading fuel oil from Rotterdam and departed for Port Said.

Meanwhile, supplies of Russian fuel oil continue to rise with the latest data showing that shipments abroad as well as to domestic consumers from Russian refineries increased during 1-20 December compared with a month earlier.

Likewise, Russian gasoil and diesel exports have been on the rise following the end of large-scale maintenance works in that country, leading to a gain of nearly 100,000t in independent stocks in the region. Diesel has also been imported from the Mideast Gulf during the past week, contributing to the increase in stocks.

Inland demand has fallen compared to the prior week, largely because of low demand for diesel and heating oil in Germany.

Spot tanker bookings of gasoline or blending components for loading in the ARA region during 22-28 December with Mideast Gulf discharge options fell to 210,000t, down from 370,000t booked to load in the previous week. Gasoline stocks in ARA increased by 2.5pc week on week as a result.

Naphtha stocks also rose, climbing by nearly 4pc from a week earlier.

Early January petrochemical demand has largely been met by deals done in mid-December, limiting buying interest in the European naphtha market. And buying interest from gasoline blenders has also been comparatively soft.

Jet fuel stocks rose slightly as the ARA region imported the product from Saudi Arabia during the period.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA oil product stocks bounce back

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 22 december 2017 9:36:24

London, 21 December (Argus) — Oil products stored independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region rose by 5pc to 5.12mn t in the week to 21 December, wiping out a 4.3pc stock draw in the previous week, according to consultancy PJK.

Gasoil inventory increased by around 150,000t on the week, reflecting larger inflows from Russia, Finland, Saudi Arabia, the UK and the US. On the demand side, cargoes with Spain, UK and west Africa discharge options have left the ARA region this week. Between 200,000t and 300,000t of gasoil have also moved up the Rhine this week, according to PJK’s Rhine Flow Service (RFS) estimates which combines barge spotting from cameras placed along at the Dutch-German border with other shipping data.

Fuel oil stocks rose by close to 100,000t in the week to 21 December on the back of a drop in export volumes. No very large crude carriers (VLCCs) left the ARA region this week, but a single Aframax with west Africa discharge options was reported. On the supply side, larger import volumes came from Estonia, France, Poland, Russia and the UK. And inflows of fuel oil from barges coming down the Rhine were also on the rise, according to PJK.

Naphtha rose by 30,000t on the week owing to significantly higher import volumes. Cargoes were supplied from France, Italy, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Russia, the UK and Portugal. Meanwhile, barge volumes shipped up the Rhine fell back to their long-term trend this week after weakening by more than a third from the previous week, according to PJK. Regional demand — both from the blending and cracking pool — remained strong.

Jet inventory edged 7,000t down on the week with seaborne cargoes leaving and arriving in ARA. The Nord Larkspur — a long-range vessel chartered by Aramco to load 60,000t of jet from Jubail in Saudi Arabia — arrived in Rotterdam on 19 December before starting to offload this morning. Product was also imported from Singapore and exported to Finland.

Gasoline stocks experienced the biggest draw of this week, dropping by 25,000t. Fewer imported cargoes — which came from Norway and the UK this week — were reported over the past seven days. Meanwhile, export volumes were described as in line with their long-term trend average by PJK, with above-average export volumes to west Africa making up for thinner outflows to other traditional outlets such as the US, the Mideast Gulf and Latin America.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA stocks fall across the board

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 20 december 2017 10:05:17

London, 14 December (Argus) — Oil products stored independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region fell by 4.3pc on the week to 4.87mn t, according to consultancy PJK.

Gasoil stocks decreased by 6pc on the week, reflecting increased heating demand and a rise in volumes delivered to customers along the Rhine. Steadily rising water levels have enabled unimpeded barge loading south of Kaub for more than a month, the longest period since August last year. Logistical constraints over the Christmas period also incentivised barge operators to move more products in the three first weeks of December.

Seaborne cargoes of gasoil arrived from the Baltic, the UK and the US and were shipped to the Mediterranean. Gasoil inventories, which remain under the five-year average, accounted for over half of this week’s total inventory drop in ARA.

Naphtha inventory fell by 16pc in the week to 14 December as thinner inflows failed to meet strong demand from regional petrochemicals end-users and gasoline producers. Supply of rival petrochemicals feedstock propane has remained tight in northwest Europe this week, incentivising crackers with feedstock slate flexibility to run on naphtha feedstock. Cargoes of light-virgin naphtha — a blending grade — were still pegged at a $15/t premium to open-specification swaps, a level which is generally considered as evidence of healthy naphtha demand from gasoline producers. Volumes delivered to customers along the Rhine doubled on the week said PJK. On the supply-side, product came from Portugal, Russia and the UK.

Fuel oil stocks decreased by 1pc this week as large import volumes from Estonia, Italy, Poland, Russia and the UK were largely offset by the departure of the very large crude carrier (VLCC) Hedy to Singapore on 11 December. One Panamax with US discharge options also left the ARA region this week with a cargo of straight-run fuel oil (SRFO).

Gasoline inventory declined by 1.3pc on the week as exports volumes grew faster than inflows. More cargoes — including Panamax tankers — with west Africa and east of Suez discharge options have left the ARA this week, offsetting lower US demand. Cargoes of European gasoline were also shipped to Kenya and Latin America. On the supply-side, rising import volumes came from Denmark, Finland, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Jet fuel stocks held independently in the ARA region declined by 3.4pc to 672,000t as firms look to empty inventories for end-of-year tax purposes. But market participants said stocks are filling up as more jet fuel comes in from the Mideast Gulf and Asia.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA product stocks increase

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 8 december 2017 12:53:30

London, 7 December (Argus) — Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose by nearly 7pc in the past week because of substantial increases in fuel oil and naphtha inventories.

Fuel oil imports rose substantially during the past period, leading to a 23.5pc increase in independent inventories in the ARA region. The trade route to the Asia-Pacific region remains workable, but no tankers left Rotterdam in the past week. Some product was exported to west Africa for local bunkering market.

Supplies of Russian fuel oil have been increasing following the end of refinery maintenance works, which reduced output in the third quarter.

Diesel imports are also increasing with more product flowing from the Baltic region. Diesel exports from the Baltic port of Primorsk — which is the largest source of 10ppm diesel in the former Soviet Union — are scheduled at 1.26mn t (303,000 b/d) in December, marking a 37pc increase on the month.

But gasoil stocks in ARA declined slightly from a week earlier as inland demand for the product was firm, resulting in an increase in shipments along the Rhine.

Gasoline stocks fell slightly during the past week as a result of a decline in imports from the Baltic region and an increase in shipments of European gasoline to west Africa and Asia.

Spot tanker bookings to load west Africa-bound gasoline in the ARA region in the week to 6 December rose to 387,000t, up from 74,000t in the previous week. Similarly, bookings to load gasoline in the ARA region for the Mideast Gulf and Red Sea regions rose to 300,000t, up from 120,000t for loading during 23-29 November.

Exports to the US have been comparatively low. This dented demand for naphtha from gasoline blenders, which, in combination with high imports from Algeria, resulted in a 51pc increase in stocks from a week earlier.

Jet fuel stocks rose by 4pc week on week because of an increase in imports, with product arriving from Saudi Arabia. Jet fuel supplies in Europe are limited by continuing maintenance at Shell’s 420,000 b/d Pernis refinery in the Netherlands.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA stocks decline further

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 4 december 2017 9:50:15

London, 30 November (Argus) — Oil products stored independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region fell for the third consecutive week, decreasing by 10pc to 4.77mn t today compared with 9 November levels, according to consultancy PJK.

Higher gasoil inventories failed to offset a drop in fuel oil, gasoline, naphtha and jet fuel stocks.

Gasoil stocks firmed by 5.5pc on the week, reflecting strong imports from the Baltic, Saudi Arabia, the Mediterranean and the UK, and lower barge demand from the hinterland. Particularly favourable loading conditions on the Rhine last week contributed to stockbuilds along the Rhine, curbing barge demand this week. A slight contango in prompt dated Ice gasoil futures continued to incentivise producers to keep product in tanks. Gasoil was exported to France, Sweden and the UK this week.

Fuel oil inventory fell by 8.8pc in the week to 30 November the number of tankers leaving the ARA hub increased slightly. One Suezmax and one Handymax tanker have sailed earlier this week for Singapore and the Mediterranean for orders, respectively. One Aframax with US Gulf coast options — an unusual destination for ARA fuel oil cargoes — also loaded product this week after starting filling its tanks at St Petersburg in Russia. On the supply-side, large import volumes arrived from Poland, Russia and the UK.

Gasoline stocks dropped by 4.4pc on the week on the back of stronger regional demand and higher outflows to foreign markets. Growing export volumes to the Middle East and Latin America more than offset a standstill in outflows to the US — a key market for exporters of European gasoline. Cargoes were also shipped to the Far East, Pakistan and west Africa. Imported shipments came from France, Spain and Russia and were described as high by PJK.

Naphtha inventory experienced a double-digit stock draw this week as import volumes faltered at a time of buoyant regional demand. Naphtha has been unusually cheap relative to rival feedstock propane for months, incentivising crackers to maximise the share of naphtha in their feedstock slate. Meanwhile, demand from the blending pool remained strong with cargoes of light-virgin naphtha (LVN) trading at around $15/t above front-month swaps for open-specification products. Outflows to the hinterland fell from a peak last week but remained substantial. Higher water levels have enabled barges to sail east of Kaub— the gateway to southwestern Germany and Switzerland — free of loading restrictions over the past two weeks. Such favourable loading conditions have not been recorded since May.

Jet fuel stocks fell to their lowest level in seven weeks. The decline in inventory levels was likely because of ongoing maintenance at Shell’s 420,000 b/d Pernis refinery. The refinery is a major producer of jet fuel in the region.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA stocks down, led by fuel oil

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 24 november 2017 9:37:56

London, 23 November (Argus) — Oil products stored independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region fell by 5.1pc in the week to 4.86mn t today.

Fuel oil inventory fell by around 240,000t in the week to 23 November as the Plata Sunrise — a very large crude carrier (VLCC) — left the ARA region to Singapore.

Gasoil stocks held broadly steady on the week, edging up by 1pc. While volumes shipped to foreign customers fell on the week — the UK was the only recipient of gasoil from the ARA — outflows to the hinterland picked up on the back of firmer heating demand.

A recent change in the market structure — ICE gasoil futures moved into contango on 10 November — also incentivised producers to hold onto their stocks. But strong diesel demand growth has been draining ARA gasoil inventories at a faster pace than usual this year. Stocks have fallen by nearly 800,000t since the end of August, making gasoil responsible for more than three-quarters of the 1mn t drop in ARA product stocks over the last three months.

Gasoline stocks dropped by 58,000t on the week, reflecting substantial outflows to foreign outlets. Exports to the Americas — including Brazil, Mexico and Canada — were in line with their long-term average, PJK said. But more cargoes than usual have been shipped this week to west Africa, the Mideast Gulf and to Asia-Pacific. Exports to the east of Suez surged in late-September and have remained above their long-term average since.

Jet fuel stocks held independently in the ARA region fell by 44,000t to 704,000t as a result of strong demand and tight supply, despite the arrival of at least 90,000t of jet fuel into Rotterdam. Two tankers took 180,000t of jet fuel to Rotterdam from the Mideast Gulf, but only one discharged. The vessel likely offloaded in tanks outside those monitored by PJK, as the firm said no jet fuel arrived in the week to 23 November. The jet fuel market in northwest Europe is experiencing supply tightness on the back of ongoing refinery maintenance and exports from Europe or diversions from the Mideast Gulf and Asia to west African destinations. Jet fuel has been exported from the central trade hub this month to the UK and Ireland, the latter of which is seeing demand for dual-purpose kerosine.

Naphtha inventory bounced back, up by 32pc on the week. Larger volumes of naphtha were unloaded this week from Algeria, France, Norway, Portugal, Russia and the UK. Such inflows were substantial enough to meet equally strong demand from the regional cracking and blending pools. Naphtha was assessed at a $6.60/t premium to rival feedstock propane on 16-22 November, a level at which naphtha would remain the crackers’ most competitive feedstock.

And demand for blending grades of naphtha strengthened over the past few days, lifting the premium commanded by light-virgin naphtha (LVN) to open-specification products above $15/t. Barge demand from customers along the Rhine was also described as strong by PJK.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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Fuel oil, gasoil, naphtha push ARA stocks down

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 17 november 2017 14:52:44

London, 16 November (Argus) — Oil products stored independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region dropped by 3.6pc to 5.12mn t today on the back of substantial fuel oil, gasoil and naphtha stock draws, according to consultancy PJK.

Fuel oil inventory fell by around 9pc in the week to 16 November as export volumes experienced stronger week-on-week growth than imports. Product came from Denmark, France, Lithuania, Poland and Russia. The Gener8 Andriotis — a very large crude carrier (VLCC) chartered by Socar — left ARA with a fuel oil cargo to Singapore on 13 November. The Aframax Front Antares sailed to Lome, Togo, this week.

Gasoil stocks fell by 6pc on the week today, reflecting substantial export volumes to Argentina, Brazil, Ireland and the UK alongside a marked upswing in outflows to the hinterland. More favourable loading conditions on the Rhine boosted barge demand from customers along the river. Barges passing the Kaub bottleneck — the gateway to southwestern Germany and Switzerland — were able to load a full capacity from 13 November onwards, compared with 60-70pc on 8-12 November. On the supply side, larger import volumes came from the Baltic, Germany, India, Saudi Arabia and the UK.

Naphtha inventory fell by 27pc on the week on the back of a drop in import volumes. Inflows from Algeria — a major foreign supplier of cracking grade of naphtha in ARA — resumed this week but PJK described them as relatively slow. Product also came from the UK. A narrow naphtha-propane spread is still supporting naphtha cracking economics, incentivising petrochemicals producers in ARA to stick with their naphtha-rich feedstock slates. Improving loading conditions on the Rhine also boosted the availability of naphtha in the hinterland, enabling landlocked crackers to maximise their naphtha intake.

Gasoline stocks firmed by 7pc on the week owing to higher import volumes and increased regional production. Product came from Sweden and other Baltic states, France and the UK. Overall export volumes remained in line with their long-term average for the second week in a row as larger outflows to east of Suez markets — including China and Singapore — offset a drop in export volumes to the US. Gasoline cargoes were also shipped to Latin America and the US.

Exports from the Baltic, the Mediterranean and northwest Europe showed a different pattern, according to fixture lists compiled by Argus. Spot tanker bookings of European gasoline with transatlantic discharge options for loading in 9-15 November rose to 549,000t, up from 370,000t booked in the previous week. Loadings volumes for tankers with west African discharge options fell to 312,000t this week, from 385,000t booked in the load in the previous week.

Jet fuel inventory held independently in the ARA region rose as at least 270,000t of jet fuel arrived on three tankers from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. But a lot of jet fuel coming into the trading hub is being re-exported to the UK as well as Ireland, the latter of which is taking dual purpose kerosine. Around 250,000t of jet fuel has been exported from the ARA region so far this month. Demand in northwest Europe is firm and some jet fuel is being used for blending with winter grade diesel to improve its cold properties. Up to 1.7mn t of jet fuel is provisionally scheduled to arrive this month into northwest European ports, including outside the ARA hub, from the Mideast Gulf and Asia. Much of it is already committed. The majors — including Vitol, Total, BP and Shell — are looking to buy jet fuel, with no selling seen on the cargo market since the beginning of the month during the afternoon trading session and limited activity outside the window.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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Mounting ARA gasoline stocks offset gasoil stockdraw

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 13 november 2017 14:34:24

London, 9 November (Argus) — Oil products stored independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region edged 0.7pc up to 5.31mn t today as a large gasoline stock build offset lower gasoil inventory, according to consultancy PJK.

Gasoline inventories climbed by 18.5pc in the week to 9 November on the back of higher net import volumes, with product coming from Finland, France, Germany, Spain, the UK and Russia. On the demand side, above average outflows to east of Suez outlets — namely Pakistan, Singapore and China — compensated for below-average export volumes to the US and west Africa. From a regional perspective, exports from the Baltic, the Mediterranean and northwest Europe exhibited a downward trend for every export market, according to fixture lists compiled by Argus. Provisional spot tanker bookings of European gasoline with transatlantic destinations fell by around 185,000t for 2-8 November loading dates, to 330,000t, compared with the previous week. A slowing of transatlantic-bound European gasoline bookings through October also helped to contribute to three consecutive weeks of large US gasoline stockdraws, according to latest EIA data. West Africa-bound bookings with 2-8 November loading dates fell by around 115,000t from the previous week to 310,000t. There was also a slowing in bookings with Mideast Gulf options, as shipments booked to load on 2-8 November almost halved from the previous week to around 220,000t, while bookings of gasoline and components with Asia-Pacific discharge options were largely steady at around 280,000t.

Gasoil stocks levels fell by 5.3pc week on week, reflecting a combination of substantial export volumes and improving barge demand from customers along the Rhine. Product was exported to the Mediterranean for orders, the UK and west Africa and came from Saudi Arabia. Growing heating demand in the hinterland supported outflows of heating oil. Loading restrictions of 50pc were still imposed this week on barges passing the bottleneck at Kaub, the gateway to southwestern Germany and Switzerland.

Fuel oil inventory grew by 4.2pc on the week as tankers, including long-range vessels, from Poland, Russia, the UK and the UAE offloaded their cargoes. A single small tanker with Mediterranean discharge options was the only ship to leave the ARA region this week, but a very large crude carrier (VLCC) and a Suezmax have been reported as currently loading.

Naphtha stocks fell by 5.5pc this week on the back of lower import volumes and substantial regional demand. Naphtha cargoes arrived from Portugal, Russia and Spain, but no product came from Algeria — a major supplier of naphtha to the ARA region. Buying interest from the blending pool was described as average by PJK and demand from petrochemicals end-users remained buoyant. Naphtha has been assessed at a $27/t premium to rival feedstock propane during 2-8 November, up from a $9/t premium a week earlier. But the higher yields of high-value co-products resulting from naphtha cracking are still large enough to more than offset such a naphtha-propane spread, enabling naphtha to remain the industry’s most competitive feedstock. The BW Raven — a MR size tanker chartered by BP to ship 37,000t of naphtha from the US Gulf coast — reached Dow’s Terneuzen terminal, a facility which is not covered by PJK’s data, on 3 November.

Jet fuel stocks held independently in the ARA region fell by 32,000t to 687,000t as no vessels carrying the product offloaded. There were also no jet fuel exports from the region. Jet fuel availability in northwest Europe is low, with prices supported from maintenance at the Pernis and Flushing refineries. Backwardation in jet fuel swaps and Ice gasoil futures has made storage unprofitable and boosted the purchase of barges to meet current demand. Barges are at a premium to cargoes in northwest Europe, which may prompt firms with regional storage to buy cargoes to split into barges. Low water levels in the Rhine continue to restrict barge loading capacity to take product inland from the ARA region.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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