LONDON, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Gasoline stocks independently held in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub climbed 22 percent week-on-week to 903,000 tonnes, data from Dutch oil consultant Pieter Kulsen showed on Thursday.
All other product inventories were down, with naphtha tumbling 51 percent to 55,000 tonnes and gasoil stocks falling to 2.443 million tonnes from 2.538 million tonnes last week.
Gasoline stocks rose considerably to their highest level since May 18 last year, as sellers stocked up in anticipation of rising demand in the spring and especially into the summer, while some logistical problems and refinery maintenance in the United States increased short term trans-Altantic interest. There was also a pick up in West African demand.
“The Hess refinery is shutting, Seaway has problems – it’s not exporting what is expected and Gulf coast refineries are in maintenance,” Kulsen said.
Hess will close its Port Reading, New Jersey facility by the end of February while oil shipments on the Seaway pipeline between the U.S. Midwest and the Gulf Coast will run significantly below the line’s 400,000 barrel per day capacity for the “foreseeable future,” as heavier crudes slow down the line.
Cargoes arrived to ARA from France, Norway, Russia, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom and some left for Argentina, Guinea, Mexico, Nigeria and the United States. Another 4-5 cargoes are in the process of being booked for several destinations including the U.S., Mexico and West Africa for orders.
Naphtha stocks fell to their lowest since Feb. 16 last year to 55,000 tonnes over the week, down from 113,000 tonnes the previous week due to greater demand from gasoline blenders. Cargoes arrived from Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom with no cargoes leaving.
Gasoil stocks fell to 2.443 million tonnes from 2.538 million tonnes after the record volume of contracts done at the expiry of February gasoil futures.
There was more cargo activity than barges on the Rhine, Kulsen said, with at least 200,000 tonnes of cargo shipments leaving ARA over the last week.
“German end users are not pressed to buy a lot as demand is being covered internally at a cheaper price compared to ARA,” Kulsen said.
With upcoming maintenance over the next few months, importers/traders were looking to build stocks while German demand remained weak with still high gasoil future prices and a relatively mild winter curbing heating demand.
ll figures in thousands of tonnes
Gasoil cargoes arrived from Norway, Russia, Sweden and Saudi Arabia while others were booked for Argentina, Gibraltar fororders, Senegal and West Africa for orders.
Fuel oil stocks slipped to 732,000 tonnes from 943,000 tonnes and jet fuel inventories continued to bump along at lowlevels, down 13 percent week-on-week to 312,000 tonnes. Fuel oil cargoes arrived from Belarus, Brazil, France, Poland, Russia and the United Kingdom. A Very Large CrudeCarrier of fuel oil left for Singapore and a second VLCC was expected to leave on Feb. 22.
Jet fuel cargoes arrived from India but none left. There was some demand in aviation but there was more demand for kerosene in diesel blending to make more of the winter quality grade.
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