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ARA independent product stocks down on fuel oil draw

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 1 februari 2019 18:14:40

London, 31 January (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell on the week, with a sharp fall in fuel oil inventories outweighing stock rises in every other recorded product.

Fuel oil inventories fell by 27pc week on week to their lowest level since 29 November 2018. Falling stocks levels in Asia-Pacific and lower freight rates in January helped open arbitrage routes and stimulated bookings of several very large crude carriers (VLCCs). No VLCCs were recorded leaving the ARA area during the week to today but at least three Suezmax and one Aframax tanker departed the area for the Mediterranean and west Africa. Incoming tankers arrived from Poland, Russia and the UK.

Naphtha inventories increased, rising from a low base after reaching their lowest level since November 2017 a week earlier. Tankers arrived from Algeria, Russia, Spain and the UK and none were recorded leaving. Vitol booked the Star Energy to carry a 120,000t cargo from the ARA area to Asia-Pacific with loading set for 31 January.

Gasoil inventories rose, increasing for the fourth consecutive week to reach the highest level since the week to 8 November 2018. Firm demand for heating fuels bolstered demand from end-users in the northwest European hinterland, supporting Rhine barge flows. Tankers arrived from Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US. Tankers departed for Denmark, France and the UK.

Gasoline stocks rose, remaining around the nine-month high recorded in recent weeks. Ample supply in north America continues to exert downward pressure on demand for northwest European volumes, but outflows remained healthy with tankers departing for the Mideast Gulf, Brazil, the US, west Africa and to Suez for orders. Tankers arrived from France, Italy, Spain and the UK carrying a variety of different grades of gasoline.

Jet fuel stocks rose by 5pc to reach a 16-week high amid firm demand relative to other regions. Ample supply in the Mediterranean and US Atlantic and Gulf coasts, coupled with an influx of cargoes arriving from east of Suez will continue to jet fuel flows into northwest Europe. Tankers arrived from the Mideast Gulf and South Korea, and departed for the UK.


Reporter: Tom Warner

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Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub were steady on the week.

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 28 januari 2019 16:26:57

London, 28 January (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub were steady on the week.

Gasoil inventories rose, increasing for the third consecutive week to reach the highest level since the week to 8 November 2018. Firm heating oil demand from end-users in the northwest European hinterland supported Rhine barge flows.

Fuel oil inventories fell by 8.8pc week on week. The very large crude carrier (VLCC) As Suwayq departed Rotterdam for Singapore carrying a 270,000t cargo.

Gasoline stocks fell, but remained around the nine-month high recorded in recent weeks. The four-week rolling average of gasoline inventories hit its highest level since Argus began recording PJK’s ARA stocks data in 2011, at 1.37mn t. Ample and rising supply in north America has significantly reduced demand from the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts, limiting outflow opportunities for northwest European volumes. Tankers arrived from Finland, Spain, Russia, Sweden and the UK. Tankers left the area for Canada, the Mediterranean, the US and to Suez for orders.

Naphtha inventories fell to reach their lowest since November 2017, as northwest European end-users continued to move volumes inland ahead of anticipated falls in Rhine water levels. Demand from gasoline blenders remained subdued.

Jet fuel stocks rose to reach a seven-week high amid seasonally low demand. A single tanker arrived in the region from the UAE and none departed. Ample supply in the Mediterranean and US east coast regions is likely to make northwest Europe a more attractive destination for cargoes arriving from the east of Suez in the coming weeks.


Reporter: Tom Warner

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ARA independent product stocks rise

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 4 januari 2019 10:38:37

London, 3 January (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub today are 5pc up on the week, at 5.47mn t.

Gasoil inventories are broadly stable, falling by 0.7pc to 2.04mn t. Demand from the European hinterland was marginally lower week on week, but seaborne outflows rose and tankers departed for Argentina, the Mediterranean and the UK in the week. Tankers arrived in the ARA from the Baltic region, Canada, Russia and the US.

High volumes of incoming and outgoing fuel oil cargoes ultimately resulted in a 12pc week-on-week rise in inventories to 1.2mn t, with tankers arriving from Canada, Latvia, Poland, Russia and the UK. Tankers departed for the Mideast Gulf, the US, and west Africa, and the Suezmax Stena Superior departed for Singapore on 28 December.

Gasoline stocks have increased by 7.7pc, to 1.37mn t, the highest level recorded since 29 March 2018, amid persistent slow demand from key export markets. Tankers left the area for Latin America and west Africa. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from France, Italy, Norway, Spain and the UK.

Naphtha inventories rose by 23.3pc to 265,000t, supported by the arrival of an LR2 tanker from Algeria and smaller tankers from Denmark, France and the UK. A single tanker departed the region during the reporting period, with Equinor sending a 90,000t cargo to Asia-Pacific likely laden with naphtha from Mongstad and with volumes stored in the ARA area.

Jet fuel stocks slumped to fresh seven month lows, down by 0.5pc on the week. A single tanker departed for the UK.

Rhine barge loadings remained unrestricted, but water levels at Kaub fell by 209cm over the course of the week to reach 181cm today.


Reporter: Tom Warner

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Hobbit’s Vessel Clearance Guide software to be integrated into TankTerminals.com

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 27 december 2018 12:15:40

Breda, The Netherlands – Hobbit Imaging Solutions and TankTerminals.com have signed an agreement to integrate Hobbit’s Vessel Clearance Guide software into TankTerminals.com’s database platform.


With the partnership of www.tankterminals.com and www.vesselclearance.com a combined platform is realized where customers can find all relevant information on tank terminals information, storage availability and automatically complete a vessel clearance request. This partnership will help TankTerminals.com to become the number one platform for terminal information and help terminals and its customers to work more efficiently.


A customer’s decision to discharge a vessel at a Terminal, depends on whether the vessel is able to perform the requested manipulation (i.e. load/discharge) at a terminal. Therefore vessels go through a vetting process each time they could be nominated, this is called a “Vessel Clearance Request”. For traders, the swiftness in receiving vetting feedback impacts the decision to make or leave a deal. By automating the vessel clearance process the clearance results are direct available, efficiency is increased, and mistakes are excluded.


HOBBIT IMAGING SOLUTIONS is a software company with over 20 years of experience in the field of software development and maintenance. HOBBIT has amongst others developed sophisticated Forensic software for the Dutch Police. We are specialized in designing and making intuitive and user-friendly software for complex problems and business processes. For more information please visit www.hobbit-is.nl/


TankTerminals.com is the world’s leading online platform & database for the tank storage industry. With more than 4,800 tank terminal facilities in 160+ countries, our customers can access with a few clicks more than 90 data labels per each terminal, such as technical parameters, historical development and managerial contact details, all in one place. For more information please visit www.tankterminals.com .

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What technology area do you expect to be a game-changer?

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 13 december 2018 10:08:35


Welcome to “GRIPPING THOUGHTS”, the space created by PJK International where Clients, Partners and Friends are invited to share ideas and insights that help shedding light on the challenges that the Oil & Gas industry faces, in the near and long future.


So join us and get inspired by IVAR BERNTZ, Research Analyst in the Cross-Industry and Advanced Manufacturing Group at GARTNER :


“Gartner recently released the results of their 2019 CIO Survey Oil and Gast Industry insights , based on 84 responses out of the 3,102 overall respondents from 89 countries. Let us discuss two of the questions posed, namely: 1) What is your organization’s top priority for 2018/2019? and 2) What technology area do you expect to be a game-changer for your organization?


Through 2018 oil and gas firms have made continued significant progress improving efficiency. With improving balance sheets and leaner operations, it is unsurprising that oil and gas executives are strongly focused on revenue and business growth as their top priority, as stated by 28% of the respondents. Caution, however, is still in evidence since the recovery is recent and market conditions remain volatile. Operational excellence  provides a relatively low-risk route to growth and profitability and is the priority for 26% of respondents.


Oil and gas company executives, senior leaders and functional managers are embracing digital. This year 22% of survey respondents rated it as top priority, compared with only 8% last year. Recognition of the capacity of digital innovation to both optimize and transform business models has crossed a tipping point in the industry, significantly elevating digital as a priority. Nevertheless, companies in most other industries are more likely to prioritize digital, a sign that traditional oil and gas industry inertia has not disappeared. Progress may be rapid by oil and gas standards but is only just keeping pace with trends outside the industry.


The oil and gas industry’s striking enthusiasm for analytics continues unabated, with 44% of oil and gas CIOs expecting data analytics to be the top game-changing technology  for the industry this year — double the percentage across  industries. Despite occasional mixed results and scepticism of vendor promises, analytics has gained widespread acceptance based on multiplying use cases and demonstrated value. As digital ambitions intensify, analytics is consistently prioritized by oil and gas leadership seeking proven ways to derive business value from digital technologies.


The greatly elevated priority of the IoT is new, with 24% of respondents now identifying it as a game-changing technology compared to 8% last year. As companies deal with existing inefficiencies, continued pursuit of operational excellence demands new strategies to improve asset performance, driving greater use of analytics for simulation and prediction of future behaviour. Analytics’ focus also shifts from reactive modelling offline to nearer real time. IoT offers advantages in data collection and system responsiveness over legacy systems to support this. However, cost-benefit considerations have so far acted as a brake on adoption, especially on mature assets. With renewed business growth the comparative advantages (and increasing cost-effectiveness) of IoT promise performance differentiation that will accelerate take-up.


A stark difference between oil and gas and all industries is apparent in artificial intelligence/machine learning. Across all industries, artificial intelligence/machine learning is ranked as the No. 1 game-changing technology across all three categories of performers, with 40% of top performers placing it at the top. While it is the third-most-cited, game-changing technology in oil and gas, only 21% of industry CIOs rate it as the top technology.


In part, this reflects the natural mistrust of the industry to hyped technology. Many oil and gas operators are still exploring ML and AI use cases and have yet to operationalize it. Understanding is more concrete for other technologies today, which — given the asset-centric nature of the business — are also expected to deliver significant value leading to a more even spread of expectation. Nevertheless, the growth of AI and ML, along with the elevation of IoT, indicates a shift in focus in the industry toward greater real-time connectivity and prediction for asset optimization.


Given this background, what do you believe will be your organization’s top priority for 2019 and what technology will be a game changer to accomplish it?”


PS: if you want to contribute to “Gripping Thoughts” please send an email to aldo.cavalcanti@pjk-international.com


Find here other “Gripping Thoughts” articles:
  •  Read now: interview with Bertrand Chupin, VP of the Loading Systems business unit of TechnipFMC, a global leader in subsea, onshore/offshore and surface projects, with about 37,000 employees.



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ARA independent product stocks rise on fuel oil build

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 7 december 2018 15:11:24

London, (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub increased by 1.7pc on the week today to 4.9mn t. A sharp rise in fuel oil stocks outweighed declines in every other product.

Fuel oil inventories increased by 18.5pc on the week hitting a three week high. Cargoes arrived from France, Poland, Russia and the UK. A Suezmax and Aframax departed for Singapore. Stocks increased ahead of the loading of a very large crude carrier (VLCC) — the Neptun — due to arrive next week.

Gasoil stocks declined by 1.4pc to a six month low. A rise in Rhine water levels allowed exports from ARA to reach the German inland market, which weighed on stock levels. Cargoes also left for the US and west Africa. Tankers from the Baltic and Russia.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.3pc to a three week low, as cargoes departed for west Africa and product loadings along the Rhine increased. Products arrived from France, Germany, Sweden and the UK.

Naphtha inventories declined by 7pc. Cargoes arrived from Algeria, France, Spain and the UK. As with gasoil and gasoline, naphtha demand from inland Europe is likely to have increased as a result of higher Rhine water levels.

Jet fuel stocks fell by 3.7pc, also a three week low. Exports to the UK outweighed imports from the Mideast Gulf, which totalled just one cargo.

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Tank Terminal Market Model – Part 1

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 3 december 2018 15:03:16



Last week was a short review of the profit drivers for physical traders, where we explained in short how traders make profit. There are a lot of different factors influencing the tank storage sector. Mostly the imbalances in the sector create opportunities for financial players. The market appears to be complex and demonstrating a lack of transparency. PJK International has developed a Tank Terminals Commercial Performance Model to quickly gain insight and a higher proficiency of the tank storage market. This is the first part related to the Tank Terminal Market Model, next week we will publish the second part for you to be able to connect the dots.




First we describe the market fundamentals as shown in the image below. Relevant market fundamentals for the oil storage business are the shape of the forward curve, the competitive market structure and the logistical factors supply, demand, imbalances and trade flows. The shape of the forward curve is determined on oil futures markets. The oil price forward curve can be upward sloping (contango) or downward sloping (backwardation). In a backwardated market is less demand for tank storage than in case of a contango. Inventory levels are also lower in a backwardation compared to a contango. Both demand and tank availability are therefore affected and this influences the commercial setting.


Furthermore the competitive market structure consists of a supply-side and demand-side market structure. Tank capacity and market shares of various terminal operators are key factors that determine the supply-side competition. The number of players, their size and diversity are key factors on the demand-side of the market. Both demand- and supply-side competition influence commercial performance of the terminals. And also Tank terminals are part of the oil products supply chain and therefore logistical factors such as local product demand, regional refinery output, imbalances and trade flows are very relevant. Developments in these factors influence the demand and requirements for tank terminal capacity.


Besides the market fundamentals we have to take into consideration the market dynamics. Relevant market dynamics are inventory levels, arbitrage and trade flows, changes in product specifications and variation in vessel sizes. These market dynamics have a direct influence on operations and on terminal requirements. A terminal that can accommodate and can adapt better and faster to these dynamics compared to competitors will likely show superior commercial performance. From the previous section you could already see that market dynamics are linked to market fundamentals.




The market fundamentals and the market dynamics are important building blocks for PJK’s commercial performance model. Next week we will go more into detail regarding this model. If you have any questions regarding the above mentioned subject please do not hesitate to contact me.


Thank you very much for your attention.

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Profit drivers for physical traders

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 23 november 2018 15:53:29


Download TT week report




This is the second blog article of our series of 5 blog articles made for you to be able to better understand the drivers and the complexity of the tank storage industry. In the first article we took a closer look at the functions of a tank terminal. Click here to be able to read the first blog article.


Traders can take a physical (&paper) position and ‘buy low / sell high’ to be able to make profit. There are several strategies to profit from trading physical commodities. We can distinguish three main strategies:

1. Arbitrage
2. Speculation
3. Optionality



Arbitrage is a very simple idea, it is really taking advantage in the difference of price on essentially the same product, to make profit. For example if you would have the price of gasoline in two different geographical markets. These different markets can be the Netherlands (A) and the US (B). If in market A the price would 1 dollar and in market B the price would be 2 dollars, then you can profit from the difference in price. The three main types of arbitrage are:


1. Geographical arbitrage
2. Time arbitrage
3. Technical arbitrage (blending)



The U.S. Commodities Future Trading Commission defines a speculator as a trader who does not hedge, but who trades with the objective of achieving profits through the successful anticipation of price movements. Traders take a position in anticipation of moves in prices/spreads. For example with the gasoil price as is shown in the chart below:




As for speculation, also for optionality volatility is key. Profit can come from market opportunities, where traders can limit losses if market turns against position. Three examples are:


1. Optionality during geographic arbitrage trade
– For example divert ship if there is a better deal and reduce costs
2. Optionality during contango storage
– Contango means that the spot price of oil is lower than future contract for oil
3. Optionality in transport mode
– Can be applied when transport costs are market driven and volatile



More familiarity within this complex market can provide you with quick insights derived from the financial markets. By watching and following oil prices spreads and market volatility can provide you with a better picture of the market. Other trends like backwardation and contango are also important to understand and analyse, to be able to make intelligent decisions. More to come in the next blog article next week, meanwhile feel free to download last week’s tank terminal report. And try to test your comprehension of the subjects discussed.

For more information or any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


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ARA Independent Product Stocks Rise on the Week

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 23 november 2018 9:38:17

London, (Argus) — Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose by 1.4pc from a week earlier to 4.95mn t, after reaching an 11-month low a week earlier.

Gasoil stocks fell by 5.1pc to 2.1mn t, the lowest level recorded since June. Supply remained tight in Europe, prompted by disruption to German refining activity caused by low Rhine water levels. Gasoil premiums to North Sea Dated crude consequently averaged more than $23/bl for the second consecutive week, for the first time since November 2012. High Rhine barge freights continued to motivate market participants to transport gasoil volumes by tanker into northern German ports. Tankers carrying gasoil arrived in the ARA area from Latvia, Russia and the US, and departed for France, Germany, the UK and west Africa.

Gasoline stocks rose by 7.9pc to 970,000t. The US Atlantic and Gulf coasts remained amply supplied, limiting interest in European gasoline from across the Atlantic. West Africa was the primary source of demand, with tankers leaving the ARA for that region and for the Mideast Gulf. Tankers arrived from Finland, France and the UK. Disruption to Rhine traffic limited gasoline flows beyond Duisburg, where volumes are being loaded onto trucks for transport into the hinterland.

Fuel oil stocks rose by 13.6pc to 1.04mn t, with strong demand from east of Suez drawing cargoes into the ARA area for onward transport to Singapore. At least one tanker left the area for west Africa, and vessels arrived from Canada, Poland, Russia, the UK and the US. The Solomon Seais due to depart Rotterdam for Singapore on 23 November carrying a 100,000t cargo.

Naphtha stocks fell by 10.6pc to 202,000t, the lowest total since November 2017. Tankers left the ARA area for Asia-Pacific and the Mediterranean, and arrived from Italy, Russia, the UK and the US. Naphtha flows into Germany remained under downward pressure from low water levels, but naphtha demand from gasoline producers in the ARA area was supported by blending for export to west Africa.

Jet fuel stocks rose by 1.4pc to 645,000t. Inland demand continued to be met largely by pipeline flows with high Rhine barge freight rates impacting the use of barges. Recent tightness in northwest European supply drew in at least one partial cargo from the Mideast Gulf, while a single tanker departed for the UK.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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functions of tank terminals

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 19 november 2018 10:27:50

Download Weekly Report


During the coming weeks we will provide you with relevant information regarding the tank storage market and its influences and opportunities. This week we will focus on the different functions a tank terminal. It is the first of 5 blog articles for you to be able to better understand the drivers of this sector and help you with your commercial decisions.


Functions of a terminal

Tank terminals can have various functions, although commercial clients’ operational requirements tend to focus on the logistics/hub and trading platform functions. These three main functions are:

  • Logistics/hub – function
  • Trading platform
  • Strategic storage

Logistics/hub function

The logistics/hub function is firstly related to the make/break and bulk of the product(s). In addition we can observe an integrated approach between transport modalities such as sea, rail, road and pipeline. Also the correct integration with an industrial complex and buffer stock(s) are considered to be part of the logistical chain of a tank terminal.


Trading platform & Strategic storage

The tank storage activities can also be influenced by the financial markets, as investors, traders and other financial intermediates are active on various trading platforms. How do traders make money and why are they interested in the tank storage industry? Mainly by taking a physical (&paper) position(s), traders take advantage of a price differences between two or more instruments. They will make profit if there is a combination of matching deals that capitalize upon the imbalance. As a trading platform four important factors can be described:


  1. Physical arbitrage
  2. Blending
  3. Contango storage
  4. Optionality


How does physical arbitrage work? During arbitrage the global commodity traders seek to identify and respond to supply and demand differentials between linked markets. Trading firms are essentially in the business of transforming commodities in space (logistics), in time (storage) and in form (processing). Traders with access to physical oil and storage can profit in a contango market, as the futures price of a commodity is above the expected spot price, and people are willing to pay more for a commodity at some point in the future than the actual expected price of the commodity. Besides this also optionality is very important as it builds in flexibility to profit from market opportunities and limits losses if the market turns against positions.



By focussing on the things that matter we can understand better how our clients are making money. As a result it can help shape your business, to have a better insight and to be able to make better operational and commercial decisions. By watching market indicators like the oil price level, market volatility and the forward curves it will provide a better picture of the market. This directly provides in-depth insights into the tank storage market developments. Our weekly report is specifically designed to clarify the mentioned above, and to provide a weekly market snapshot. If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact me.

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