LONDON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Gasoil stocks independently held at the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub rose by 4 percent week-on-week to 2.220 million tonnes, data from Dutch oil analyst Pieter Kulsen showed on Thursday.
The rise in inventories reflected weak demand, Kulsen said, as storage holders were choosing to draw down stocks to meet consumer needs.
“In spite of the cold weather, demand is limited and this is partly because importers have to deal with backwardation,” he said, referring to the market structure in which product prices fall over time.
“This means they (importers) are not encouraged to build stocks and are keeping stocks low,” he added. The February gasoil contract on the ICE platform has been trading at an increasingly wide premium to March this month.
The spread between the two months touched $12.50 a tonne in recent sessions, the highest since October. “The cold snap will have to last a long time to create additional demand. Right now it’s very slack… one expects the cold weather to last until next week but beyond that nobody knows,” Kulsen said. Gasoil cargoes arrived from Norway and Russia, and departed for Guinea and the Mediterranean for orders.
All figures in thousands of tonnes
Jet fuel stocks rebounded from persistent lows, rising almost 20 percent to 335,000 tonnes. Jet fuel cargoes arrived from the UK and UAE, while none left the region. Outgoing flows were limited to the aviation sector and for further refining into winter specification diesel.
Kulsen said this was because the jet fuel market was weak, although demand for diesel was limited as well. “Compare margins to November when diesel premiums were at plus $60 a tonne instead of plus $15 a tonne like now,” said Kulsen, commenting on weak market for diesel.
Gasoline inventories were down slightly to 748,000 tonnes from 754,000 tonnes. Gasoline cargoes arrived from France, Germany, Russia and the UK, and departed for Guinea, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Naphtha slipped 8,000 tonnes to 160,000 tonnes, with cargoes arriving from Russia, while none were exported. Volumes were delivered instead to petrochemical end users and to gasoline blenders.
Fuel oil supplies fell to 891,000 tonnes from 923,000 tonnes. Cargoes arrived from Brazil, France, Poland, Russia and the UK, while a VLCC left the region for Singapore.
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