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ARA oil product stocks hit 10-month high

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 9 maart 2018 9:17:40

London, 8 March (Argus) — Oil products in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region rose by just under 7pc on the week to a 10-month high at 6.29mn t today, according to consultancy PJK.

Fuel oil stock levels increased by 314,000t on the week, accounting for around three-quarters of the total stock build recorded on 2-8 March. Higher stocks reflected a combination of larger inflows from Finland, France, Poland and Russia, and a dip in export volumes. One very large crude carrier (VLCC) — the Daba — sailed from Rotterdam to Singapore, but only a fraction of its cargo was taken into account by this week data as its loading began in the week to 1 March. Another smaller tanker — the Suezmax Sonangol Cazenga — was booked by Petroineos to load 147,000t of cracked fuel oil. Tracking tools showed this tanker still moored at Rotterdam yesterday. Stocks are unlikely to stay elevated next week, with three VLCCs — the DionaOlympic Liberty and Zourva — booked to load as much as 810,000t of cracked fuel oil during 10-20 March. Arbitrage economics to Asia-Pacific have improved in the past week, at least on paper, while fuel oil demand in northwest Europe remains subdued.

Gasoil inventory rose by 115,000t in the week, against a backdrop of rising import volumes. Cargoes arrived from India, Latvia, Poland, Russia and Saudi Arabia. On the demand side, seaborne trade was limited to the UK but shipments up the Rhine topped 170,000t in the week to today, setting a fresh 2018-to-date high. The impact of frozen canals and locks in northwest Europe on barge traffic last week continued, with higher freight rates reported in the ARA and along the Rhine.

Naphtha stock levels firmed by 21,000t on the week amid persistently poor demand from the cracking pool. Naphtha’s premium to rival petrochemical feedstock propane crept up to $140/t in the week to today, its highest level since August 2015. Higher inflows from France, Algeria, Russia and the UK also contributed to the stockbuild.

Jet inventory held steady on the week. Seaborne supply came to a standstill in the week to today, but tracking tools showed several cargoes bound to reach northwest Europe in the coming weeks.

In contrast with other oil products, gasoline stocks declined by 40,000t on the week. The stock draw was mostly driven by increased export volumes, said PJK. Flows to North America — including the US, Canada and the Caribbean — were up on the week, and cargoes with Mideast Gulf discharge options were spotted again. Product was also exported to the UK, west Africa and Latin America. On the supply side, steady volumes came from France, Norway, Spain and the UK. Inflows from refineries along the Rhine into the ARA were stable on the week, according to PJK, at around 25,000t on 2-8 March.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA stocks fell from near 10-month high

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 2 maart 2018 9:28:02

London, 1 March (Argus) — Oil products in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region fell by 6.5pc to 5.88mn t this week, ending a five-week run which brought inventories to near 10-month high, according to consultancy PJK.

Gasoil experienced the second biggest stock draw after fuel oil, with inventories falling by close to 120,000t on the week, on firmer demand from the ARA and European hinterland. Barge outflows from ARA up the Rhine rose to 170,000t in the week, its highest weekly tally since the beginning of 2018, according to PJK’s Rhine Flow Service (RFS) estimates. Seaborne cargoes arrived from the Mideast Gulf, India, Russia and the US and heading to Ireland and the UK.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 237,000t in the week to 1 March as export volumes bounced back from the low levels recorded on 16-22 February. The very large crude carrier (VLCC) Bukha and the Suezmax Loire chartered by Shell and Socar, respectively, sailed from ARA to Singapore this week. The Daba — another VLCC chartered by Koch — has started to load in the week to 1 March, pulling more fuel oil from regional storage facilities. And outflows to Asia-Pacific are likely to remain high in the coming weeks with fixture lists showing an additional three VLCCs scheduled to load during 10-25 March. On the supply side, import volumes remained steady with product coming from Estonia, Poland, Russia, the UK and the US.

Naphtha stock levels recorded a drop of 26,000t, owing to lower inflows. Cargoes were imported from France, Russia and Spain, but arrival from key supplier Algeria came to a standstill this week. Sluggish demand from petrochemical end-users weakened further as naphtha’s premium to rival petrochemical feedstock propane topped $130/t, its highest level since August 2015.

Gasoline inventory edged 19,000t down on the week, reflecting a drop in barge supply. PJK’s RFS showed inflows down the Rhine into the ARA declining to 25,000t in the week to 1 March, down by around 15,000t from a week earlier. Export volumes remained broadly steady with more products heading to the US and fewer shipments going to west Africa. Cargoes of European gasoline were also shipped to Latin America and the Mediterranean region. Seaborne cargoes arrived from Denmark, France, Norway, Sweden and the UK.

Jet stocks hit a 29-week low on 1 March, echoing supply tightness in the broader northwest European market. But shipping lists pointed out to increased arrival volumes into Europe in March compared with February, with some vessels displaying ARA discharge options.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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ARA stocks bounced back led by gasoil

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 17 augustus 2017 16:49:28

London, 17 August (Argus) —Oil products stored independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region bounced back by 8pc on the week to 5.46mn t today, after falling by 6.6pc in the week to 10 August, according to consultancy PJK.

Gasoil stocks rose by 11pc in the week to 17 August as deliveries from the US and the Baltic bolstered supplies in the ARA region. Arbitrage opportunities to ship diesel to Europe improved in the aftermath of an outage at Shell’s 420,000 b/d Pernis refinery at the end of July. Cargoes loading from the US in early August would likely reach northwest Europe in mid-late August. The rise in stocks also coincides with limited activity in the barge markets, which would curb volumes of gasoil exports out of the ARA region.

Fuel oil inventories increased by 6pc on the week. No very large crude carrier (VLCC) has left the ARA region this week but one Suezmax with Togo discharge options sailed earlier the week. Meanwhile, below-average inflows came from Poland, Russia and the UK. The relatively low numbers of ships loading or unloading fuel oil this week contrasted with much brisker activity on the barge side.

Naphtha stocks surged by 17.3pc on the back of higher import volumes, from Algeria, France, Spain, the UK and Russia. A modest drop in naphtha demand from petrochemicals customers based in the ARA region and along the Rhine also lent support to the stock build. This came despite the naphtha premium to rival propane feedstock falling to $20.10/t on 10-16 August, down from $32.70/t a week earlier. Slowing demand from the hinterland also emerged despite excellent loading conditions on the Rhine river. Water levels at Kaub have topped the threshold for barge loading restrictions this week over the past six days, enabling barges to sail at full capacity to locations near Frankfurt and further south.

Gasoline remained broadly stable on the week. No cargoes were exported to either the US or the Mideast Gulf this week, but west Africa-bound volumes stood above-average with shipments being sent to Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo. Canada and Mexico were the two other foreign outlets for European gasoline this week. Meanwhile, below-average import volumes came from France and the UK. Export volumes to the US and west Africa from the Baltic, the Mediterranean and northwest Europe experience showed different patterns this week, according to fixtures lists compiled by Argus. Spot tanker bookings of European gasoline with transatlantic discharge options for loading in the week to 17 August rose to 548,000t, up from 474,000t the previous week. But the tally for Africa-bound tankers fell by 23,000t on the week to 185,000t on 11-17 August.

Jet fuel stocks held independently in the ARA region rose as storage declines from tight regional supply and high demand were offset by the arrival of a long-range vessel from east of Suez.

The Star Energy, chartered by Vitol to carry 90,000t of jet fuel from South Korea, has unloaded its cargo after arriving in Rotterdam last week. The tanker’s product had previously been sold to Shell, following the outage at its Pernis refinery. Demand has picked up in the northwest European jet fuel market ahead of scheduled maintenance at BP’s 400,000 b/d Rotterdam refinery. But supply is tight in the region as a result, and because Pernis is still in the process of restarting. There is limited product on offer for the next 20 days. The Navig8 Honour, chartered by Shell to carry 60,000t of jet fuel from Sikka in India, is set to arrive into Rotterdam on 19 August.

Argus reporter: Benoit Petre

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European Refiners Take Measures to Contain Mid-Distillate Glut

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 4 oktober 2016 9:44:41

The vast glut of middle distillates that has lingered in European tank farms and anchored vessels off regional ports since January 2016 has prompted European refiners to cut run rates and possibly extend autumn maintenance. Downstream analysts have observed falling throughput across Europe as operators rationalize run rates in response to a chronic overhang of refined products, which has saturated inventories and undermined profit margins. Refinery utilization rates in Europe have fallen off highs of 84.9% reached in the third quarter of 2015, when gasoline crack spreads the price difference between crude and gasoline averaged more than $20/bbl. Refiners maximized crude throughput to feed rampant demand growth for gasoline and cash in on bumper profit margins, increasing mid-distillate output as a consequence. Supply at the middle of the barrel outstripped demand growth, creating a market imbalance that pushed rising jet fuel and diesel volumes into storage. Inventory data from JFI sister publication Oil Market Intelligence (OMI) shows that European middle distillate stocks hit historical highs of 324 million barrels during peak winter demand in January 2016. European inventories held at these levels before building again in the summer, reaching 326 million bbl in July.

Crack spreads on middle distillates have suffered as the glut persists. Northwest European (NWE) profit margins on gasoil fell to six year lows of $6.66 per barrel of Brent crude in the first quarter, before recovering to $8.77/bbl in the second quarter and holding there through August. Jet fuel crack spreads followed a similar pattern, hitting six year lows of $8.75/bbl in the first quarter and rising to $9.34 in the second. European refiners have taken measures to enhance profitability in light of the overhang, including crude run cuts and adjustments to product yields. OMI data indicate that refinery utilization rates have fallen to 82.1% in July 2016, down from 84.6% a year ago. Operators have rationalized throughput as they focus on cost efficiency rather than volume. Some refiners have also adjusted product yields to enhance output at the top of the barrel, tapping into the higher gasoline returns. “Everyone is trying to avoid gasoil and diesel at all costs,” commented Michael deiMichei, a senior downstream consultant at JBC Energy. This is primarily achieved through crude slate adjustments, as buyers opt for light, sweet crude over heavier grades, as well as changes to cutting points and blending strategies. The shift to lighter products has increased output of jet fuel, which has been severely oversupplied through the peak summer season in spite of robust airline demand.

Some downstream analysts see cause for optimism in the second half of the year, with market bulls forecasting heavy refinery maintenance in Europe and strong winter demand. Scheduled outages for the September-October turnaround season total approximately 1 million barrels per day, but some observers say volumes could double. Seasonal maintenance will coincide with winter demand for middle distillates, which peaks in October and November as consumers in Germany stock up on heating oil ahead of the winter. “The bounce in autumn demand will coincide with turnarounds, which means product output will be lower, necessitating stockdraws,” Wood Mackenzie’s Head of Downstream Research Jonathan Leitch told JFI. This bullish outlook still faces some critical downside threats. Winter requirements remain weather-dependent, and stock draws may not materialize if Europe or the US experience another mild winter. Moreover, those draws can easily be offset by overseas imports, and Leitch warned that Mideast refiners could exhaust capacity at new mega refineries for “strategic reasons.” It is still too early to say how winter demand is shaping up and signals from the market are mixed. The latest stock data from PJK International shows jet fuel inventories in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region rose to 618,000 tons last week after dipping to their lowest level so far this year in the previous week.

Copyright © 2016 Energy Intelligence Group. All rights reserved.

PJK International is also consulted for (medium and long term) supply and demand forecasting, tradeflow forecasting, oil tanker vessel tracking and its view on price trends on NWE oil markets.


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ARA oil product stocks marginally fall

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 21 januari 2016 15:38:40

London, 21 January (Argus) — Independent oil product stocks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) region marginally declined in the past week as a drop in naphtha, gasoline and fuel oil stocks outpaced a build in gasoil and jet fuel stocks.

Fuel oil stocks remain high despite firm export bookings to Asia-Pacific from northwest Europe. Stock levels dipped by 3.9pc from a week earlier. But supplies could become tight as lower flat prices in northwest Europe may start to discourage shipments from Russian Baltic ports.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.6pc despite the closure of the transatlantic arbitrage, as spot bookings increased from northwest Europe to west Africa.

Naphtha stocks dropped by 27.7pc, having risen by 15.8pc the previous week, as demand from gasoline blenders and petrochemical operators in northwest Europe held firm.

The contango in gasoil and jet markets continued to support movement of product into storage. Gasoil stocks rose by 2.3pc while jet fuel stocks rose by 5.3pc from the previous week.

PJK International is also consulted for (medium and long term) supply and demand forecasting, tradeflow forecasting, oil tanker vessel tracking and its view on price trends on NWE oil markets.

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Review week 15/03 Oil prices lost for a seventh straight week

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 12 januari 2015 13:28:08

Both crude – and product prices lost for a seventh straight week. The sharpest price declines were made early in the week and on Friday. Wednesday and Thursday oil markets were relatively stable. Gasoil prices shed around $45pmton on a weekly base while Brent crude lost around $6/bbl on a weekly base.

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Review week 49 Oil prices extended losses

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 9 december 2014 13:32:04

Both crude – and product prices extended losses last week. Research showing the new low-price environment possibly affected US shale production with a decline in permits issued for new shale wells in October, supported oil prices early in the week.

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Review week 47 Oil prices ‘all over the barrel’ plunged

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 2 december 2014 13:34:02

Oil markets were under the spell of the November 27 OPEC-meeting last week. Early in the week, market players were convinced that OPEC would cut production in order to stabilize prices. This resulted initially in a more sideways movement of prices.

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Oil prices took a significant step back last week

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 18 november 2014 13:38:24

Oil prices took a significant step back last week and fell towards four-year lows. Brent crude dropped below $78/bbl while WTI crude edged below $74/bbl. Early in the week, a strong US dollar weighed on oil markets.

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Oil prices showed a minor downward reaction last week.

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 10 november 2014 17:03:57

Crude – and product prices showed a minor downward reaction last week. Brent crude’s weekly low lay at $81.63/bbl and that was its lowest since the end of October 2010. WTI crude fell below $76.00/bbl, its lowest level since early October 2011.

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