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ARA oil product stocks rise to a four-week high

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 18 mei 2018 8:44:00

London, 17 May (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose to a four-week high today, driven by large stock builds in fuel oil and gasoil, according to consultancy PJK.

Independent fuel oil inventories rose to a six-month high of 1.4mn t, up by 253,000t on the week, as product arrived from Russia, Poland, France and the UK. The absence of very large crude carrier (VLCC) loadings in the past week kept inventories high, blunting the effects of ARA exports to the Mideast Gulf and the Mediterranean region. Mideast Gulf fuel oil import demand for power generation is firm, given the seasonal consumption pick-up associated with the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan and the peak summer months.

Two Singapore-bound Suezmaxes are scheduled to load fuel oil in Rotterdam in the next week: the Eurochampion 2004 and Pecos — respectively chartered by Shell and Azerbaijan’s state-owned trading firm Socar. State-owned Saudi Aramco chartered the HS Tosca, which loaded 80,000t at Rotterdam on 13 May, bound for the Mideast Gulf. But inventories are likely to remain high, with up to 600,000t of Rotterdam-bound fuel oil scheduled to load at the Russian Baltic port of Ust-Luga this week.

Gasoil inventories rose to a four-week high of 2.19mn t, with ARA tanks receiving volumes from Russia, Latvia, Saudi Arabia and the US. Flows of gasoil barges along the Rhine river were said to be thin.

Jet fuel stocks rose to a five-week high of 593,000t, as product arrived from the Mideast Gulf. The UAE-loaded Gulf Vision arrived at Rotterdam on 10 May with 15,000t of jet fuel. The Merkur O arrived at the Dutch port with 65,000t of product loaded at Jubail, Saudi Arabia, although it has yet to discharge.

Gasoline and naphtha stocks rose for the first time in seven weeks and four weeks, respectively. West African import demand for European gasoline remained relatively weak, weighing on gasoline blender demand for naphtha. Spot tanker bookings of European gasoline with west African discharge options emerging in the week to 17 May fell to 252,000t from 527,000t in the previous week. The three-week moving average of volumes booked to west Africa is at its lowest since January, at 377,000t.

At least one ARA gasoline cargo loaded in the past week for Argentina — a relatively infrequent destination — likely with winter-grade product. Gasoline loaded in the past week for the US, Canada, Mexico and Singapore. Gasoline arrived into ARA from France, Spain, the UK and Scandinavian refineries in the past week. No ARA naphtha was exported to other regions in the same period.

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ARA oil product stocks fall to 4-month low

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 4 mei 2018 9:31:58

London, 3 May (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 6pc this week to their lowest level since December.

Independent stocks in the ARA region fell to 5mn t in the week to 3 May, according to consultancy PJK. Inventories fell by 330,000t to their lowest level since the final week of December 2017. Refinery maintenance in Europe and unstable underlying crude prices have contributed to the drawdown in stocks.

Gasoil stocks in the ARA region fell by 4pc from the prior week. Cargoes arrived from Finland, Poland, Russia, the US and the Mediterranean. Volumes arriving from the US were marginally up on the week. The UK was the only the country to receive an outgoing cargo. Ongoing maintenance at BP’s refinery in Gelsenkirchen and Shell’s Godorf facility prompted diesel demand from inland majors, but backwardation in the market exerted downward pressure on bought volumes. Demand for heating oil was almost non-existent, in line with seasonal expectations.

Gasoline stocks in the ARA region fell by 8pc from the prior week. Highly workable transatlantic arbitrage economics continued to draw cargoes to the US and Canada. Stockbuilding ahead of the summer driving season likely boosted export volumes. Cargoes left the ARA region for Latin America, the US, Canada and west Africa. Outflows to west Africa have returned to normal levels after a very strong first quarter. Cargoes arrived from Finland, France, Italy, Sweden, Norway and the UK.

The departure of the VLCC Olympic Leopard for Singapore on 26 April helped bring fuel oil stocks draw to a three-week low of 1.02mn t. Cargoes arrived from Estonia, Poland, Russia, Spain and the US. Imported volumes rose on the week. Some fixtures were reported departing the Baltic region for discharge in Asia-Pacific without stopping in the ARA region.

Naphtha stocks were stable on the week at 283,000t. Demand from gasoline blenders was firm as a result of increasing gasoline exports to the US and there was a steady flow down the Rhine to inland petrochemical end-users. Cargoes arrived from Algeria, the Baltic, Portugal, Russia and Spain. Jet fuel stocks fell marginally by 14,000t to 568,000t. A single jet fuel cargo arrived from the US and a single cargo departed for the UK.

Stable water levels on the Rhine and steady trade flows kept Rhine freight rates consistent at the levels seen a week earlier.

Reporter: Tom Warner

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ARA oil product stocks down

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 3 mei 2018 11:34:29

London, 26 April (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 5pc this week.

Independent stocks in the ARA region fell below 5.3mn t in the week to 26 April, according to consultancy PJK. Inventories fell by 250,000t to their lowest level since the first week of January 2018. Refinery maintenance in Europe and diminished buying activity on the spot market resulting from rising underlying crude prices have contributed to the drawdown in stocks.

Gasoil stocks in the ARA region fell by 7pc from the prior week. Imports into northwest Europe from the Baltic slowed as a result of Russian refinery maintenance and no cargoes were recorded arriving from the US. Spot demand for cargoes delivered to France increased and product also departed for the UK. Exports out of the ARA storage hub received further support from firm backwardation on Ice gasoil futures. Inland refinery maintenance bolstered diesel demand from up the Rhine, but demand for heating oil was notably weak as a result of warmer temperatures.

Gasoline stocks in the ARA region fell by 7pc from the prior week. Workable transatlantic arbitrage economics continued to draw cargoes to the US and Canada, and vessels were reported discharging at storage facilities in the Caribbean. The increased use of larger Long Range 1 tankers, instead of smaller Medium Range vessels, further boosted outgoing volumes. Cargoes left the ARA region for Latin America, Singapore and west Africa as well as heading west across the North Atlantic. Volumes arrived from France, Italy, Sweden and the UK but at levels below those seen in recent weeks.

Fuel oil continued to be exported to the Asia-Pacific region, but loadings in Rotterdam have slowed down compared with early April and late March. Fuel oil was imported from France, the Mediterranean, Poland, Russia and the US, contributing to a 3pc increase in stocks within the ARA hub. The Suezmax Red, booked by Total, finished loading and departed Rotterdam for Singapore on 22 April and the VLCC Olympic Leopard left the same port for Singapore today, chartered by Gunvor.

Naphtha stocks fell by 9pc. Demand for petrochemical and gasoline blending grade product came from buyers in the ARA area and inland, and naphtha barge traffic was brisk. Rising outright prices of naphtha have inhibited buying activity in the spot market during the last two weeks and prompted end-users to dip into their stored volumes. No cargo exports were recorded over the course of the week. Import cargoes came from Algeria, the Mideast Gulf, Norway, Russia and Spain. Jet fuel stocks fell marginally to 582,000t, and no cargoes were recorded arriving or departing the area.

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ARA oil product stocks fall

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 6 april 2018 8:22:49

London, 5 April (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by more than 5pc this week, largely because of a sharp decline in fuel oil inventories.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 21pc. The trade route to Asia-Pacific remains workable, and some product was exported to supply the west Africa bunkering market. Suezmax British Heritage left Rotterdam for west Africa yesterday. The very large crude carrier (VLCC) Olympic Liberty, chartered by Koch to transport 270,000t of cracked fuel oil to Singapore, departed Rotterdam on 3 April. It is the second VLCC to depart the Dutch port in the past week. The Gener8 Hercules left Rotterdam for Asia-Pacific on 29 March. VLCC Olympic Leopard is scheduled to load in Rotterdam by the middle of April.

Imports of Russian fuel oil from the Baltic Sea remained steady.

Naphtha has been moving eastbound because of strong demand from the Asia-Pacific petrochemicals sector and short condensate supplies from the Mideast Gulf. Naphtha stocks declined, shedding around 20,000t or 5pc. Northwest Europe remained well-supplied with naphtha, and regional end-users including German firm BASF offered cargoes.

Gasoline stocks in the ARA region fell by nearly 2pc from the prior week. Prompt Eurobob prices rose sharply during the week, hitting the appeal of buying volumes in ARA for export markets. Transatlantic gasoline shipments fell sharply — spot fixtures dropped below 300,000t from more than 900,000t in the prior week. Spot bookings to Latin America and west Africa declined.

Diesel stocks declined by around 2.5pc. Inland demand was firm, stimulating movement from the ARA region. Diesel imports from the US remained low, and flows from the former Soviet Union are likely to decline in April because of planned refinery maintenance works in Russia.

Jet fuel stocks bucked the trend to rise marginally. Northwest Europe imported jet fuel from the Mideast Gulf, and some product was shipped to the UK. European jet fuel imports are likely to increase in April, and demand is likely to hold steady. Trading firm Gulf Petroleum has provisionally booked the BW Danube to take 60,000t of jet fuel to northwest Europe from Sikka, India, loading 6 April.

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ARA oil product stocks hit 10-month high

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 9 maart 2018 9:17:40

London, 8 March (Argus) — Oil products in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region rose by just under 7pc on the week to a 10-month high at 6.29mn t today, according to consultancy PJK.

Fuel oil stock levels increased by 314,000t on the week, accounting for around three-quarters of the total stock build recorded on 2-8 March. Higher stocks reflected a combination of larger inflows from Finland, France, Poland and Russia, and a dip in export volumes. One very large crude carrier (VLCC) — the Daba — sailed from Rotterdam to Singapore, but only a fraction of its cargo was taken into account by this week data as its loading began in the week to 1 March. Another smaller tanker — the Suezmax Sonangol Cazenga — was booked by Petroineos to load 147,000t of cracked fuel oil. Tracking tools showed this tanker still moored at Rotterdam yesterday. Stocks are unlikely to stay elevated next week, with three VLCCs — the DionaOlympic Liberty and Zourva — booked to load as much as 810,000t of cracked fuel oil during 10-20 March. Arbitrage economics to Asia-Pacific have improved in the past week, at least on paper, while fuel oil demand in northwest Europe remains subdued.

Gasoil inventory rose by 115,000t in the week, against a backdrop of rising import volumes. Cargoes arrived from India, Latvia, Poland, Russia and Saudi Arabia. On the demand side, seaborne trade was limited to the UK but shipments up the Rhine topped 170,000t in the week to today, setting a fresh 2018-to-date high. The impact of frozen canals and locks in northwest Europe on barge traffic last week continued, with higher freight rates reported in the ARA and along the Rhine.

Naphtha stock levels firmed by 21,000t on the week amid persistently poor demand from the cracking pool. Naphtha’s premium to rival petrochemical feedstock propane crept up to $140/t in the week to today, its highest level since August 2015. Higher inflows from France, Algeria, Russia and the UK also contributed to the stockbuild.

Jet inventory held steady on the week. Seaborne supply came to a standstill in the week to today, but tracking tools showed several cargoes bound to reach northwest Europe in the coming weeks.

In contrast with other oil products, gasoline stocks declined by 40,000t on the week. The stock draw was mostly driven by increased export volumes, said PJK. Flows to North America — including the US, Canada and the Caribbean — were up on the week, and cargoes with Mideast Gulf discharge options were spotted again. Product was also exported to the UK, west Africa and Latin America. On the supply side, steady volumes came from France, Norway, Spain and the UK. Inflows from refineries along the Rhine into the ARA were stable on the week, according to PJK, at around 25,000t on 2-8 March.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA stocks fell from near 10-month high

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 2 maart 2018 9:28:02

London, 1 March (Argus) — Oil products in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region fell by 6.5pc to 5.88mn t this week, ending a five-week run which brought inventories to near 10-month high, according to consultancy PJK.

Gasoil experienced the second biggest stock draw after fuel oil, with inventories falling by close to 120,000t on the week, on firmer demand from the ARA and European hinterland. Barge outflows from ARA up the Rhine rose to 170,000t in the week, its highest weekly tally since the beginning of 2018, according to PJK’s Rhine Flow Service (RFS) estimates. Seaborne cargoes arrived from the Mideast Gulf, India, Russia and the US and heading to Ireland and the UK.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 237,000t in the week to 1 March as export volumes bounced back from the low levels recorded on 16-22 February. The very large crude carrier (VLCC) Bukha and the Suezmax Loire chartered by Shell and Socar, respectively, sailed from ARA to Singapore this week. The Daba — another VLCC chartered by Koch — has started to load in the week to 1 March, pulling more fuel oil from regional storage facilities. And outflows to Asia-Pacific are likely to remain high in the coming weeks with fixture lists showing an additional three VLCCs scheduled to load during 10-25 March. On the supply side, import volumes remained steady with product coming from Estonia, Poland, Russia, the UK and the US.

Naphtha stock levels recorded a drop of 26,000t, owing to lower inflows. Cargoes were imported from France, Russia and Spain, but arrival from key supplier Algeria came to a standstill this week. Sluggish demand from petrochemical end-users weakened further as naphtha’s premium to rival petrochemical feedstock propane topped $130/t, its highest level since August 2015.

Gasoline inventory edged 19,000t down on the week, reflecting a drop in barge supply. PJK’s RFS showed inflows down the Rhine into the ARA declining to 25,000t in the week to 1 March, down by around 15,000t from a week earlier. Export volumes remained broadly steady with more products heading to the US and fewer shipments going to west Africa. Cargoes of European gasoline were also shipped to Latin America and the Mediterranean region. Seaborne cargoes arrived from Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden and the UK.

Jet stocks hit a 29-week low on 1 March, echoing supply tightness in the broader northwest European market. But shipping lists pointed out to increased arrival volumes into Europe in March compared with February, with some vessels displaying ARA discharge options.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA oil product stocks hit near 10-month high

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 23 februari 2018 9:45:55

London, 22 February (Argus) — Oil products in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region rose for the fifth consecutive week, lifting inventories to a near 10-month high of 6.3mn t today, according to consultancy PJK.

Fuel oil stocks climbed 157,000t in the week on the back of a substantial drop in export volumes. The Aspen Spirit — a MR-range tanker with Algeciras discharge options — was the sole vessel to sail from the ARA region this week. Outflows of fuel oil are likely to bounce back next week as two very large crude carriers (VLCCs) have just reached their berths to start loading. On the supply side, seaborne cargoes arrived from Poland and Russia.

Gasoline inventories rose by 60,000t on the week, reflecting lower seaborne export volumes and rising inflows of gasoline barges. Cargoes were shipped to the Mideast Gulf, Canada, Mexico, Asia-Pacific, the US and west Africa. Barge supply from the hinterland into the ARA rose to 40,000t in the week, up by 5,000t from a week earlier, according to PJK’s Rhine Flow Service (RFS) estimates. Seaborne cargoes came from Finland, France, Norway and Sweden.

In contrast to fuel oil and gasoline, stocks of gasoil, naphtha and jet fuel oil fell by a combined 68,000t.

Gasoil inventories dropped by 27,000t as more cargoes moved to the European hinterland and to the Mediterranean. PJK’s Rhine Flow Service (RFS) showed outflows up the Rhine hitting 150,000t in the week to today, their highest levels since the beginning of the week. Cargoes were also exported to Italy, Spain and the UK. On the supply side, inflows from Russia were described as greater than the previous week by PJK, with additional volumes coming from Latvia.

Naphtha stocks fell by 27,000t as well, reflecting larger import volumes from Algeria, France, Portugal, Spain and the UK. Regional demand for cracking grades of naphtha remained weak in northwest Europe as steam crackers continued to tap into ample supply of cheap rival petrochemical feedstock propane.

Jet fuel stocks in the ARA region fell to 25-week lows. Import of seaborne jet into the ARA reached a standstill in a week that also saw a single UK-bound cargo leaving the region for the second consecutive week. Refinery maintenance in the Mideast Gulf and Asia has lowered jet fuel exports to northwest Europe. At least 400,000t of jet fuel is scheduled to arrive into northwest Europe in the week to today on six tankers. But five of these are destined for UK ports. The Maersk Producer arrived into Antwerp today, chartered by Unipec and carrying 90,000t of jet fuel from Saudi Arabia. Falling stock levels in northwest Europe and prolonged backwardation in the jet fuel swaps structure have pressured storage costs.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA independent product stocks increase

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 16 februari 2018 13:09:54

London, 8 February (Argus) — Independent oil product stocks held in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose slightly during the past week, largely on the back of an increase in gasoline inventories.

Gasoline stocks increased by 10pc on the week, as export options were limited by rising stocks in the US, a major outlet for European gasoline. Gasoline inventories in the US hit 245.5mn bl (29mn t) on 2 February, a larger gain than most market participants were expecting, hitting nearly a one-year high.

Gasoil stocks also rose, climbing by just over 2pc from the prior week. Inland flows of the product rose slightly, but remained comparatively low at 130,000t. ARA continued to import gasoil from Russia, Finland and the Middle East, but flows from the US were limited.

Firm demand from Latin America drew large volumes of US diesel, resulting in less product available to be exported to Europe. So far in 2017, spot bookings of gasoil cargoes to northwest Europe and the Mediterranean from North America have declined by nearly 10pc on the year to 7.25mn t.

Naphtha stocks fell by just 1.6pc from a week earlier. Demand for the open specification naphtha used as a feedstock in the petrochemicals sector remained under pressure from abundant supply of rival feedstock propane, but buying interest for light-virgin naphtha from gasoline blenders remained firm amid increased demand from west Africa.

Jet fuel inventories fell to 20-week lows. Supply in northwest Europe remains tight on lower imports from the Mideast Gulf and Asia, and as a result of transatlantic diversions of jet fuel cargoes from east of Suez, which were originally destined for northwest Europe. No jet fuel was imported into the ARA hub this week.

And fuel oil stocks rose slightly during the past weeks ARA continued importing the product from the Baltic Sea. Fuel oil continued to be exported to Asia-Pacific, while some material also left the region for the Mediterranean.

Two VLCCs, the Daniel and the Miltiadis Junior, which were booked in mid-January, and the Suezmax Mikela P loaded fuel oil from Rotterdam and left the Dutch port for Singapore during 30 January-7 February.

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ARA independent product stocks rise

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 1 februari 2018 10:04:16

London, 25 January (Argus) — Independent oil product stocks held within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp trading hub climbed by 5.6pc during the past week because of a large increase in fuel oil inventories.

Fuel oil loadings in Rotterdam paused after rising substantially during the prior week, while imports from the Baltic Sea were at a high level. Russia continues to export high volumes of fuel oil, a large share of which goes to Rotterdam for re-export.

During 1-23 January, Rotterdam-bound tankers loaded over 1mn t of fuel oil from Baltic Sea ports, compared with 816,000t loaded during the whole of December. Demand in the northwest European bunkering market remained soft.

Gasoil stocks increased by 3.2pc because of a high level of imports from the FSU and a decline in inland flows of the product.

The northwest European diesel market remained well-supplied with the product during the past week, while demand weakened. Exports from the Russian port of Primorsk — the main outlet of 10ppm diesel in the FSU — are scheduled at 1.46mn t this month, up by 16pc against December.

Naphtha stocks also rose, climbing by 11.3pc from the previous week. Demand from the petrochemicals sector remained low as propane remained a more favourable option as a feedstock for cracking. Buying interest from gasoline blenders also remained soft because of limited demand for gasoline in the US.

And jet fuel stocks also rose slightly as the ARA region imported some material from Bahrain. The STI Providence, chartered by BP, arrived into Rotterdam on 22 January with 60,000t of jet fuel from Bahrain.

Gasoline stocks bucked the wider trend, falling by 5.5pc from the prior seven-day period as exports were comparatively high. Gasoline was shipped to the Mideast Gulf, west Africa and the US. Demand for imported gasoline from the US remains low because of high domestic inventories. During the week ending 19 January, total gasoline stocks in the US rose by 3.1mn bl to 244mn bl.

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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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