ARA oil product stocks hit 7-month high, led by fuel oil

LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) – Stocks of oil products in independently held storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) hub climbed nearly 6 percent to a seven-month high in the week to Thursday, data from Dutch consultancy PJK International showed.

Total product inventories reached 6.2 million tonnes, the highest since early August last year, with only stocks of jet fuel declining.

Fuel oil inventories gained 354,000 tonnes in the week, 43 percent above the previous week, as imports arrived from Russia and Latvia and not a single VLCC loaded to sail to Asia.

Singapore onshore fuel oil inventories rose by 5 percent in the week ended March 8 to a nearly eight-month high of 4.14 mln tonnes, official data showed earlier on Thursday.

Gasoline and gasoil supplies also edged higher, which PJK’s Patrick Kulsen said was due in part of relatively low refinery maintenance activity in the ARA hub. While spring months mark a key period for refinery turnarounds, the bulk of these have been concentrated in the Mediterranean this year.

“There is practically no maintenance in the ARA region … and refinery margins are okay, so they’re producing a lot,” Kulsen said.

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