LONDON, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Gasoline stocks independently held in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub reached a two-year high on Thursday at 962,000 tonnes after European refiners made the most of strong gasoline margins, data from Dutch oil consultant Patrick Kulsen showed.
Gasoline inventories rose 6.5 percent on the week to highs last reached in mid-March 2011, as European refiners benefited from gasoline margins of around $15 a barrel.
Gasoline cargoes arrived in the ARA hub from all corners of Europe, including Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Poland, Spain, Turkey and Britain.
Refiners have been pumping more gasoline to take advantage of strong overseas demand, with cargoes leaving for Argentina, Guinea, Mexico, Togo and the United States over the week.
High gasoline prices in the United States have proved a draw for European gasoline in recent weeks but have tumbled over the last few days as speculators have liquidated length in U.S. RBOB gasoline futures.
Gasoil inventories fell 3 percent to 2.363 million tonnes, with cargoes departing for Argentina, Guinea, and the Mediterranean and West Africa for orders.
“We have also seen a little more demand in the hinterland markets of Germany, Switzerland and the Benelux,” said Kulsen.
Temperatures have tumbled again in northwest Europe over the last week, stimulating demand.
“The flat price has come off a lot in recent weeks and we have seen the backwardation at the front of the curve ease, so that may have encouraged demand to replenish the inland wholesale depots,” Kulsen said.
Gasoil futures have fallen from around $1,031 a tonne in early February to around $938 a tonne on Thursday.
At the same time, the front of the curve has flipped into a small contango of around 50-75 cents a tonne, from a backwardation of $10.50 a tonne on Monday.
Backwardation describes a market structure where spot prices are higher than those for products being delivered at a future date.
A big backwardation deters traders and wholesalers from building up stockpiles, whereas a contango is supportive.
Gasoil cargoes arrived at the ARA hub from India, Poland, Russia, Sweden and Saudi Arabia.
Naphtha stocks rose to 94,000 tonnes from 55,000 tonnes last week, boosted by cargoes arriving from Russia.
Jet fuel inventories slipped to 293,000 tonnes from 312,000 tonnes, with imports from India and Britain and draws by the aviation sector.
Fuel oil stocks fell to 679,000 tonnes from last week’s 732,000 tonnes as one VLCC departed for Singapore in the week, with another loading and expected to sail on March 3.
Fuel oil cargoes arrived from Belarus, Estonia, France, Lithuania, Russia and Britain.
*COPYRIGHT NOTICE* – any unauthorised use, duplication or disclosure of ARA stocks data is prohibited without prior approval of PJK International B.V.