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Fuel oil build bolsters ARA independent product stocks

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 14 december 2018 14:42:39

London — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub increased by 2.4pc on the week today to 5.03mn t.

Fuel oil inventories increased by 22pc on the week to reach an eight week high (see table). The very large crude carrier (VLCC) Neptun is currently awaiting loading in Rotterdam for east of Suez discharge. Tankers arrived from France, Italy, Russia and the UK. Fuel oil stocks can be subject to greater changes as a result of the use of larger tankers to carry cargoes eastward.

Gasoil stocks declined by 5.1pc to their lowest level since 21 June. Inland buyers took advantage of a recovery in Rhine water levels to replenish stocks of diesel and heating oil. Liquidity in the German 10ppm diesel fob ARA barge market has doubled in the last two weeks. German diesel barges also moved to a premium to their Hamburg-delivered cargo counterparts, likely encouraging the sale of smaller parcels for shipment up the Rhine. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from the Baltic and Mediterranean regions, and departed for the UK and west Africa.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.8pc to a six week low. Cargoes departed for the Mideast Gulf, Canada, the US and west Africa. Transatlantic and west African demand rose on the week, drawing more gasoline out of the area, and flows of gasoline blending components from inland destinations rose to support ARA inventories. Gasoline cargoes arrived from Denmark, Finland, France, the Mediterranean and the UK.

Naphtha inventories rose by 6.3pc as a result of a steady flow of incoming cargoes. Tankers arrived from Algeria, the UK and the US while none departed. Demand from inland petrochemical end-users rose, again supported by the rise in Rhine water levels.

Jet fuel stocks fell by 1.7pc to reach their lowest level since 11 May. A tanker arrived from Finland, likely for use in gasoil blending. A single tanker was recorded leaving for the UK.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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ARA independent product stocks at one-year low

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 30 november 2018 16:31:54

London – Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 2.4pc on the week today to 4.83mn t, the lowest recorded since 30 November 2017.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 13pc amid strong demand from east of Suez. The Solomon Sea left Rotterdam on 27 November carrying a 100,000t cargo. Smaller tankers also left the ARA area for the Mideast Gulf and west Africa. Cargoes arrived from France, Russia and the UK.

Gasoil stocks fell by 3pc, the lowest level recorded since June. Low Rhine water levels continued to affect the market, limiting barge flows from the ARA into Germany. Market participants continued to use tankers to load gasoil in the ARA area and transporting it to north German seaports for onward distribution. Demand from inland fell on the week, impacted by higher freight rates. Tankers arrived from Russia and departed for Germany, France, the UK and west Africa.

Gasoline stocks rose by 1.1pc. The US Atlantic and Gulf coasts remained well supplied, limiting interest in European gasoline from across the Atlantic. West Africa was the only region to receive gasoline cargoes from the ARA during the week to today. Gasoline flows into Germany were steady but volumes of blending components coming the other way fell on the week because of weakening gasoline refining margins.

Naphtha stocks rose by 28pc. Inventories were supported by the contango structure in the naphtha market, resulting from an ongoing supply overhang. Demand both from gasoline blenders and petrochemical users remained low during the week to today, and barge flows up the river Rhine to inland end-users dwindled. No tankers left the ARA area and tankers arrived from Algeria, Libya, Russia, Sweden and the US.

Jet fuel stocks rose by 1.7pc to a seven-week high of 656,000t. Tankers arrived from the east of Suez into UK ports, easing the regional tightness seen in regional weeks, and demand was lacklustre. The Fos Picasso arrived into Rotterdam on 27 November with 90,000t of jet fuel from the UAE but had not offloaded at time of writing. As with other products, barge flows into Germany were constrained by low water levels.

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ARA independent product stocks reach 11-month low

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 16 november 2018 12:02:45

London, (Argus) — Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 11pc from a week earlier to 4.88mn t, the lowest level recorded since December 2017.

Gasoil stocks fell by 7pc to 2.2mn t, the lowest level recorded since 5 July amid tight supply in Europe. The Swiss government released more gasoil from its strategic reserves today, in order to alleviate persistent supply disruptions. Barge freight rates from the ARA area to Switzerland have risen to around SFr180/t, up from SFr20/t at the beginning of July. Tankers arrived in the ARA area from Russia and the UK, and none departed.

Gasoline stocks fell by 4pc to 899,000t, the lowest level since 13 September. Several tankers left for Mexico and for Nigeria, and vessels also departed for the US and Mideast Gulf. Tankers arrived in the ARA from France, Russia and the UK. Northwest Europe remained amply supplied and flows into Germany continued to outstrip those coming out, in a reversal of the usual pattern.

Fuel oil stocks fell by 27.4pc to 913,000t. The Frio departed Rotterdam during the reporting period carrying a 130,000t cargo to Singapore, and two other vessels also left the area carrying fuel oil cargoes. Demand from east of Suez remained strong, drawing cargoes into the ARA area for future eastbound loadings. Tankers arrived in the area from Latin America, Russia and Spain during the week to today.

Jet fuel stocks fell by 1.2pc to 636,000t. Inland demand continued to be met largely by pipeline flows and there was an uptick in buying interest for dual purpose kerosine, likely from the UK. Stocks remained low as recent backwardation in Ice gasoil futures made storage economics unviable. In addition, some cargoes originally destined for northwest Europe from the US and east of Suez have been diverted to the Caribbean and Africa, limiting prompt availability.

Naphtha fell by 13.4pc to 226,000t. Outflows to inland end-users remained under downward pressure from problems arising from low Rhine water levels. But demand from gasoline blenders in the ARA area appeared higher, amid increasing gasoline outflows from Europe. A single tankers arrived in the ARA area from the UK, and none left. Eastbound arbitrage economics have become unviable on benchmark paraffinic grades over the last week amid ample supply in Asia-Pacific.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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ARA independent product stocks increase

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 28 september 2018 13:56:15

London, 27 September (Argus) — Oil product stocks held in independent storage within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub rose by 6.3pc from a week earlier because of large gains in fuel oil and gasoline inventories.

Fuel oil stocks rose by a fifth from a week earlier as product was put into storage to be loaded on two Singapore-bound VLCCs. One of these tankers — the Ridgebury Artois — has likely started loading fuel oil and could shortly leave for Singapore. No VLCCs left during the past week, while the Suezmax Sabine departed for Asia-Pacific with 130,000t of fuel oil. Bookings on the route to Singapore have picked up pace this week as export economics improved following a decline in Singapore’s inventories to multi-week lows. The ARA region imported fuel oil from the Black Sea, the Baltic Sea and Spain.

Gasoline stocks also rose, climbing by 10pc amid limited export options. US demand for gasoline has been weak since the conclusion of the summer driving season. This was reflected in last week’s increase in stocks, which came despite lower domestic production. During the week to 21 September, implied demand dropped to a 17 week low, and was also down year on year, according to EIA data. Exports to the Middle East are also likely to slow in the coming week as regional refineries come back from unplanned shutdowns. The ARA region exported gasoline to the Mideast Gulf and west Africa during the past week.

Lack of export options and comparatively low demand also led to an increase in naphtha stocks, which climbed 6pc from a week earlier. The European naphtha market is well-supplied, while demand from gasoline blenders is low. And arbitrage economics to Asia-Pacific are unworkable, largely because of ethylene cracker maintenance in that region. No naphtha was exported from the ARA region this week, while product arrived from Algeria, France, Spain and the UK.

And diesel inventories rose by less than 1pc this week. US diesel production also has fallen, which is likely to lead to a decline in exports to Europe in the coming weeks. In Europe, water levels on the Rhine remain low, keeping barge rates high and limiting inland shipments. The economics for importing diesel into Europe remain weak. But this could change if Rhine river water levels rise, allowing German demand to access ARA gasoil stocks, reducing supplies and pushing prices higher.

Jet fuel stocks bucked the trend, dropping by 14,000t, or 2pc because of comparatively high export volumes. The ARA region shipped the product to Denmark and the UK, while importing some jet fuel from the Mediterranean.

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ARA independent fuel oil stocks fall sharply

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 24 september 2018 10:03:25

London, 20 September (Argus) — Oil products stored independently within the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) hub declined by nearly 2pc over the past week because of a large drop in fuel oil inventories.

Fuel oil stocks shed 143,000t — or 11.2pc — during the past week as imports of Russian fuel oil from the Baltic Sea continued to fall. The decline came despite challenging arbitrage economics to Singapore. No vessels bound for Asia-Pacific have loaded fuel oil from Rotterdam during the past week. The VLCC Ridgebury Artois, booked to ship 270,000t of fuel oil to Singapore earlier this month, has arrived in Rotterdam. Some fuel oil was exported to the Mediterranean to supply the local bunkering market and to the Middle East during the past week.

Jet fuel stocks also declined, but were down just 1pc week on week. The European market is generally well supplied, while demand has weakened following the conclusion of the peak summer flying season. But most of the product imported from east of Suez this week was discharged into ports in the UK. One vessel, the Polar Bright, chartered by BP, arrived into Rotterdam on 16 September with 90,000t of jet fuel from Ruwais, but has yet to offload this material.

Gasoil stocks rose by around 1pc during the past week. Inland shipments to the German market, which is affected by supply shortages, remained depressed because of low water levels on the Rhine. Transatlantic shipments of diesel have not fallen as much as expected by market participants in September from the prior month because of high US production and stocks. The Asian diesel market is tight, which is likely to draw diesel from the Mideast Gulf, reducing the amount of material available to be exported to Europe from that region.

Gasoline inventories also rose by around 1pc week on week. US demand for European gasoline has dropped following the conclusion of the summer driving season, but buying interest in west Africa and the Middle East remains firm, largely offsetting the impact of lower transatlantic shipments. The ARA region imported gasoline from Denmark, France, the Mediterranean and the UK in the past week.

Likewise, naphtha stocks rose marginally during the period, adding just 2,000t. Demand from gasoline blenders and the petrochemicals sector has softened during the past two weeks, keeping more product in storage. Some naphtha was shipped to Denmark, likely to use as a feedstock to produce gasoline.

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High gasoline exports trim ARA oil product stocks

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 31 augustus 2018 10:09:28

London, 30 August (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell nearly 5pc this week to 5.15mn t, prompted by stock draws on all major products except jet fuel.

Gasoline stocks fell by 1.9pc to 757,000t, the lowest level since November 2016. The European market is preparing to switch to winter-specification gasoline in September, and is shedding summer-grade volumes. Outflows were notably high to North America, Latin America and west Africa.

Spot booking for tankers loading during the week to today were around twice the level recorded over the prior week. Tankers left for the Mideast Gulf, the Americas and west Africa. Tankers arrived from the Baltic region, Denmark, Finland, France, Sweden and the UK. Low water levels on the Rhine river inhibited barge traffic from inland refineries to the ARA area.

Naphtha stocks fell heavily for a second consecutive week, to a 16-week low of 251,000t. The reduction was caused by good demand from gasoline blenders and petrochemical end-users in Europe. Naphtha flows from ARA into the continent have proven more resilient to high barge freight rates than have flows of gasoline and gasoil, as most end-users are unable to significantly alter feedstock slates. Tankers arrived from Latvia, Portugal, Russia and Spain, and none were recorded leaving the area.

Gasoil stocks fell by 5.6pc to 2.44mn t, the lowest since early April. Rhine water levels rose marginally in recent days, potentially allowing an increase in product flows. German 10ppm and 50ppm diesel barges have found support over the last week. The former traded recently at 25¢/t discounts to Ice September gasoil, compared with discounts of $1/t around a week earlier. German 50ppm barges assessed differentials climbed to discounts of $7.50/t to Ice September gasoil, compared with discounts of $10.50/t a week earlier. Tankers left ARA for France, Sweden and west Africa.

Jet fuel stocks rose by 4.6pc to 677,000t. The STI Selatar and Dubai Brilliance arrived at Rotterdam at the end of last week, each carrying 90,000t of jet fuel from Yangpu, China, and Ruwais, UAE, respectively. Shell exported 30,000t of jet from Rotterdam on the Seashark, which arrived at Copenhagen today. High northwest European import volumes from east of Suez last week and this week have not been reflected in stock levels, suggesting sufficient demand to absorb incoming volumes. A slowdown in arrivals after next week, alongside the start of the refinery turnaround season, could see the market tighten.

Fuel oil inventories fell by 7.1pc to 1.03mn t. Tankers left ARA for the Mideast Gulf and Mediterranean regions during the week, and arrived from France and Russia.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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Gasoline demand impacts ARA oil product stocks

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 24 augustus 2018 9:21:37

London, 23 August (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 1.3pc this week to 5.41mn t, prompted by a sharp fall in gasoline and naphtha inventories.

Gasoline stocks fell by 14.3pc on the week to 772,000t, the lowest level recorded since October 2017. Tankers left the ARA area for Argentina, Canada, Puerto Rico, the US and west Africa. High gasoline demand from inland Germany, resulting from unplanned refinery outages, drew in volumes from the ARA area and deepened the stock draw. Tankers arrived from Norway, Poland, Sweden and the UK.

Naphtha stocks also fell heavily, dropping by 17pc on the week to 307,000t. The reduction in inventories was caused by steady demand from key outlets and a lack of incoming tankers. No cargoes arrived from the Mediterranean, with the sole arriving tanker coming from Denmark. None were recorded leaving the area. Demand from inland petrochemical end-users recovered, with falling temperatures enabling steam cracker operators to return to running their machinery at full capacity.

Gasoil stocks rose by 3.3pc to 2.59mn t, the highest level since the start of April, as low Rhine water levels continued to constrain product movement in the region. Typically, weekly gasoil barge inflows to Germany total around 160,000t but they amounted to less than 90,000t during the week today according to PJK International’s Rhine Flow Service. The influx of middle distillates into Europe from both transatlantic and east of Suez refiners has also been firm, with market participants pegging total arrivals into Europe at some 3.5mn-4mn t in August. The Yasa Hawk is currently on route to Amsterdam, laden with a 40,000t diesel cargo, according to Argus tracking. The tanker departed Texas City on the US Gulf coast on 15 August.

Jet fuel stocks fell by 1.1pc to 647,000t. At least 180,000t of jet fuel arrived into Rotterdam today on vessels from China and the UAE, although neither vessel had offloaded at the time of writing. Imports into northwest Europe from east of Suez and the US are set to be high for the rest of August. But peak summer buying interest is fading as high trade activity throughout the month has mostly filled August demand. Consequently, stocks are expected to rise. Shell has provisionally booked at least three tankers to take ARA jet fuel to Scandinavia at the end of the month.

Fuel oil inventories increased by 4.5pc to 1.1mn t, amid low outflows. A single suezmax left the ARA area for Singapore during the week to today, and tankers arrived in the area from France and Russia.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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ARA oil product stocks fall marginally

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 3 augustus 2018 11:35:21

London, 2 August (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 0.6pc this week to 5.67mn t, prompted by the departure of a 270,000t fuel oil cargo and rising naphtha consumption.

The departure of the VLCC Fida on 27 July weighed on fuel oil stocks, which fell by 10.3pc to 1.2mn t today. The 270,000t cargo is set to discharge in Ningbo-Zhoushan in China, according to vessel tracking data. A smaller cargo also left for the Mideast Gulf. Fuel oil cargoes arrived from the Black Sea, Finland, France, Poland and Russia.

Naphtha stocks also fell heavily on the week. Inventories declined by 10.6pc to 328,000t on an uptick in demand from gasoline blenders in the ARA region and continued firm demand from petrochemical end-users. Rising demand and ongoing supply tightness in the Mediterranean region have strengthened northwest European naphtha pricing, narrowing its discount to benchmark North Sea Dated to 69¢/bl on 1 August from $1.25/bl a week earlier.

Gasoline stocks rose by 3.1pc week on week to 974,000t, with rising prices in the ARA area attracting cargoes and impacting outflows. Tankers arrived from Denmark, France, Italy, Spain and Sweden. European gasoline was shipped to Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the US and west Africa. But the outgoing cargoes were generally smaller than those that arrived. Fresh fixtures emerged during the week for delivery to west Africa and the US, where demand is firming.

Jet fuel stocks rose by 5pc on the week to 692,000t. The Kleon arrived into Rotterdam on 27 July with 90,000t of jet fuel from Ruwais. The Nord Dolphin arrived into Antwerp yesterday, also with 90,000t of jet fuel from Ruwais, but does not yet appear to have unloaded. Seasonally strong demand from the aviation sector brought jet fuel barge and pipeline utilisation to near maximum levels. A single cargo left the ARA area for the UK.

Gasoil stocks increased by 3.9pc to 2.49mn t. Cargoes continued to arrive from the Mideast Gulf, but high Rhine freight rates have impacted demand from the European hinterland. Demand from the agricultural and heating sectors was already lower owing to the high temperatures and lack of rain, which have affected harvests.

Reporter: Thomas Warner

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ARA oil product stocks decline

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 27 juli 2018 12:33:39

London, 26 July (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub declined this week because of a large drop in gasoline inventories.

Gasoline stocks dropped by more than 12pc week on week, largely because of a high level of exports. European gasoline was shipped to the Mideast Gulf, Latin America, the US and west Africa, where demand rose significantly compared with the prior week. Exporters have been facing increasingly unworkable spot arbitrage economics between Europe and the US. But stocks in the US dropped to the lowest level since 11 May this week, which will likely stimulate transatlantic exports.

Fuel oil stocks also fell, dropping by 2.5pc from the prior week. The VLCC Nisalah finished loading fuel oil from Rotterdam and departed for Singapore, resulting in a decline in inventories. Imported volumes increased, partially offsetting the impact of exports on stocks. No new VLCC bookings have surfaced so far this week as the economics for exporting fuel oil to Asia-Pacific weakened.

Jet fuel stocks dropped by 5pc from the prior week as no product was imported and demand remained strong. Arrivals from east of Suez and the US were offloaded into other ports in northwest Europe, including Le Havre.

Gasoil stocks increased despite unviable US Gulf coast diesel arbitrage economics to northwest Europe. Product continued to arrive from the Mideast Gulf and a flurry of MR tanker bookings have emerged in recent days to load Baltic diesel for European discharge, which is likely to keep the European gasoil market well-supplied. Inland demand remains firm, but persistently low Rhine water levels have reduced barge loading capacity and drove barge freight rates higher, contributing to the increase in stocks.

And naphtha stocks rose marginally, climbing by just 1,000t on the week. The ARA region imported the product from France, Portugal, Sweden and the UK during the week. Demand from European gasoline blenders rose slightly, offsetting the impact of comparatively high imports.

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ARA independent product stocks fall on the week

Gepubliceerd Jacob on 6 juli 2018 8:50:24

London, 5 July (Argus) — Oil products held in independent storage tanks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) trading hub fell by 1pc week on week to reach 5.6mn t today.

The decrease in total stocks was driven by a 7pc fall in fuel oil inventories prompted by the eastbound departure of the VLCC Atromitos. Stocks of gasoline and naphtha also fell week-on-week, while jet and gasoil inventories rose. Low water levels on the Rhine impacted the barge markets, reducing flows in and out of the ARA area from Germany.

Fuel oil inventories recorded the most significant change in volume, falling by 106,000t to 1.51mn t. The Atromitos is likely to have left the area carrying around 270,000t of fuel oil, but stored volumes were bolstered by aframaxes arriving from Poland, Russia and the UK. Inflows to the ARA area from Russia rebounded to around 850,000t in June after falling to just over 700,000t in May as a result of refinery maintenance in the country. The VLCC Fida is due to begin loading fuel oil from Rotterdam on 14 July, while the same-sized Front Prince has been awaiting loading in Rotterdam since 14 June.

Gasoline inventories declined by 6pc to 985mn t amid rising transatlantic exports. At least 222,000t of European gasoline was booked in the spot tanker market to load in the ARA region in the week to 5 July with transatlantic discharge options, up from 130,000t in the previous week. EIA data show robust US gasoline imports: the four-week moving average of imports was 828,000 b/d in the week to 29 June. Cargoes also departed the ARA area for the Mideast Gulf and the Mediterranean. Cargoes arrived from France, Italy and the UK.

Gasoil inventories rose by 5pc to 2.1mn t. Demand for heating oil and industrial gasoil was very weak, with diesel accounting for the vast proportion of the total gasoil demand. But low Rhine water levels limited outflows from the ARA area to inland destinations. Gasoil cargoes arrived in the ARA area from Finland, Russia, Sweden, the UAE and the US. Vessels departed for Spain and the UK.

Naphtha stocks recorded the largest percentage fall, decreasing by 10pc to 319,000t. No cargoes arrived from Algeria where there is maintenance work at the 350,000 b/d Skikda refinery. Maintenance at petrochemical plants in Germany prompted a reduction in naphtha barges leaving the ARA area for discharge along the Rhine. Increasing gasoline demand from the US may stimulate naphtha demand over the coming week, putting further downward pressure on inventories. Cargoes arrived from Poland, Russia and the UK. No seaborne naphtha cargoes left the ARA area.

Jet stocks rose by 4.3pc to 696,000t, reaching the highest level since 7 December 2017. The Ust Luga arrived into Rotterdam on 27 June. Vitol chartered the vessel to take 90,000t of jet fuel to northwest Europe from the Mideast Gulf, but the vessel partially offloaded in Augusta, Sicily. Demand for jet was healthy in line with seasonal expectations but outflows from the ARA area were again limited by barge loading restrictions.

Reporter: Thomas Warner 

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