ARA oil product stocks fall on gasoline, gasoil draws

London, 16 August (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 2.9pc this week to 5.49mn t, as a sharp fall in gasoline and gasoil inventories outweighed rising naphtha stocks.

Gasoline stocks fell by 12pc on the week to 901,000t, the lowest since January, due to strong exports to the US Gulf and firm demand from west Africa. Tankers arrived from Estonia, Italy, France and Spain, while cargoes were shipped to Latin America, the Mediterranean, the US and west Africa. Vessels are likely to have departed this week that were booked at the start of August, amid favourable transatlantic arbitrage economics, adding to the week’s drawdown.

Gasoil inventories fell by 2.9pc on the week to just over 2.5mn t, amid weak demand on the Rhine and an increase in seaborne exports to the Mediterranean. Tankers arrived from Russia, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and departed for the Mediterranean and the UK. The fall in stocks came despite the arrival of a VLCC from the UAE, which is unlikely to have been included in stock levels this week. Low Rhine water levels are currently hindering the export of gasoil barges to the inland German market, while rising premiums for diesel in the Mediterranean have supported an increase in seaborne exports.

Naphtha stocks rose by 17pc on the week to 371,000t, its highest since May 2017. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Algeria, Latvia, Portugal, Russia and the UK. None were recorded leaving the area. Demand from inland petrochemical end-users remained subdued amid high barge freight rates, while demand from gasoline blenders was lower than the previous week.

Jet fuel stocks fell 4.2pc on the week to 654,000t, as no vessels which arrived into northwest Europe from east of Suez and other European ports offloaded in the ARA region. Vessels did continue to discharge in Sweden and the UK, amid firm seasonal European jet fuel demand, while tankers departed the ARA region for the UK.

Fuel oil inventories increased marginally, up by 0.6pc on the week to 1.06mn t. Tankers arrived from the Baltic, France and Russia, and departed for the Mideast Gulf and Singapore. The VLCC DHT Stallion — booked by SK Energy at the end of July — departed Rotterdam on 13 August for Singapore, but will have been only partially included in this week’s inventories as it began loading the previous week.