March 7 (Reuters) – Gasoline stocks independently held in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub rose 6.8 percent this week to a fresh two-year high of 1.027 million tonnes, data from Dutch oil analyst Pieter Kulsen showed on Thursday.
The increase in gasoline oil stocks follows a slowdown in gasoline exports to the United States, which had gathered pace in late January, helping to drive an increase in oil production in Europe.
Kulsen said cargo trade remained busier than dealings in barges, although activity along the Rhine river was picking up in preparation for the summer.
“Barge trading is gradually picking up along the Rhine as we have the change from winter to summer quality ahead,” Kulsen said. “Gradually importers and wholesalers are picking up some product.”
Gasoline cargoes arrived from Finland, France, Poland, Russia and Britain and departed for Nigeria, Mexico, West Africa for further instructions, and the United States.
Gasoil oil inventories fell marginally over the week, to 2.353 million tonnes and were also influenced by cargo movements, a switch to summer quality product and a slight contango at the front of the curve, offering better incentives for storage.
“The contango is increasing slightly… although it is not sufficient to replenish stocks entirely,” Kulsen said.
Gasoil cargoes arrived from Finland, France, Norway and Russia, and departed for France and West Africa for orders.
“Because of the fact oil prices have dropped along the line in the last couple of weeks, there has been profiting from that as well,” Kulsen added, referring to a steep drop in the benchmark gasoil contract over the period that has helped revive demand.
The front-month ICE gasoil contract is close to 10 percent lower than a month ago, partly due to a similar drop in crude oil prices.
All figures in thousands of tonnes
Fuel oil stocks fell by 6.4 percent to 638,000 tonnes, drawn down by the loading of a VLCC tanker for export to Singapore, while arrivals came from Belarus, France, Poland and Russia. “Fuel oil stocks are slightly down because of the VLCC expected to sail today or tomorrow,” said Kulsen. “There is some demand in ARA for fuel oil for bunkering purposes and power plants along the Rhine, but generally it still limited, with the main influence being these arbitrage possibilities with Singapore.”
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