Gasoline stocks at Europe’s ARA hub drop 5 pct

LONDON, April 4 (Reuters) – Gasoline stocks independently held in Europe’s Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub fell this week by 5 percent to 959,000 tonnes as demand for summer-grade products rose, data from Dutch oil analyst Pieter Kulsen showed on Thursday.

“The switch to summer-grade gasoline continues to support demand, specially along the Rhine,” Kulsen said.

Gasoline stocks declined this week to 959,000 tonnes from 1.01 million tonnes a week earlier.

Cargoes of gasoline arrived from Algeria, France, Germany, Latvia and Britain and outgoing vessels headed to Britain, Finland, Mexico, West Africa for orders and the United States.

Naphtha stocks nearly doubled, rising to 105,000 tonnes from 53,000 tonnes last week as propane prices drop, reducing demand for naphtha from plastic producers, Kulsen said.

Naphtha cargoes arrived from Russia and Spain. There were no outgoing cargoes.

04/04/13 28/03/13 05/04/12
GASOLINE 959 1,010 804
NAPHTHA 105 53 77
GAS OIL 2,464 2,481 2,738
FUEL OIL 841 808
JET FUEL 302 309

All figures in thousands of tonnes

Inventories of gasoil and fuel oil slightly rose for a second week in a row as the cold spell in northwest Europe supported demand for heating oil but weakened agriculture industry demand.

Gasoil stocks rose 0.6 percent to 2.46 million tonnes, while fuel oil stocks were up 4.1 percent to 841,000.

“There has been a lot of wholesale activity in the gasoil market due to the shift to summer-grade.

More demand for heating oil because of the cold snap was countered by slower agricultural demand as farmers work less in the field,” Kulsen said.

Gasoil cargoes entered the ARA hub from Latvia, Lithuania and Russia and left for Argentina and northwest Africa.

One VLCC tanker carrying fuel oil departed to Singapore this week and another vessel was planned to head to Asia next week, according to Kulsen.

Jet fuel stocks were little changed at 302,000 tonnes as demand from the aviation sector remained low.

One cargo arrived from Britain, no cargoes left the ARA hub.

Jet fuel stocks dropped 8.3 percent. One cargo from Bahrain was expected to reach the area on Friday.

“Demand in the aviation sector seems to slightly improve because of the upcoming holiday season but companies are buying only what is strictly needed,” Kulsen said.

Gasoil stocks slightly rose from 2.39 million tonnes last week to 2.48 million tonnes.

Cargoes arrived from Finland, India, Norway, Latvia and Russia and headed to Gibraltar for orders and North Africa.

Fuel oil stocks declined 1.5 percent to 808,000 tonnes. Cargoes arrived from Estonia, France, Poland, Russia and Britain. One out-going vessel was expected to sail to Singapore on Friday.

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