Independently held ARA gasoline stocks rise on export to US and West Africa
LONDON, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Gasoline stocks independently held at the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub jumped 14.8 percent on the week to its highest level since April 2012, data from Dutch oil analyst Pieter Kulsen showed on Thursday.
Firm demand for exports to the United States and West Africa helped drive the gain in stocks, as traders prepared to deliver more cargoes to these regions in the weeks ahead. “Cargoes have been moving to West Africa and the U.S. and this is expected to continue,” said Kulsen, adding that trade in the market for barges was quiet by comparison. This was due to refineries along the Rhine producing enough volumes to meet local demand. “Refineries along the Rhine are more competitive,” Kulsen said.
Gasoline cargoes arrived from France, Russia and the UK, and departed for Guinea for orders, Senegal, West Africa for orders and the U.S. Rising demand for exports of the motor fuel helped trigger a 140 percent jump in naphtha inventories on the week, to meet extra demand by gasoline blenders.
All figures in thousands of tonnes
Naphtha cargoes arrived from Russia, while none were exported. Gasoil stocks dipped slightly to 2.308 million tonnes as demand for deliveries to other regions including the Mediterranean and West Africa helped draw down supplies. Gasoil cargoes arrived from India, Latvia, Russia and the UK, and departed for Guinea, the Mediterranean for orders and West Africa for orders. Activity in the barge market on the other hand continued to be hampered by wide backwardation. “Barges are normally a core business at this time of year but because of high backwardation, importers and majors are keeping stocks low,” Kulsen said.
Everyone was waiting for the February ICE gasoil contract to expire, in hopes it would ease the steep drop in prices at the front of the curve. “A bit of business is being done, but it is limited,” said Kulsen, adding it was difficult to explain why backwardation was so wide at a time when demand was unusually weak. Fuel oil stocks fell by over 11 percent to 725,000 tonnes as a cargo loaded aboard a VLCC sailed for Singapore. Cargoes arrived from Brazil, the UK, Poland and Russia. Eastern demand appears to have picked up again, with another two tankers due in for loading in the week ahead, Kulsen said. Jet fuel stocks rose by close to 15 percent to 370,000 tonnes, partly attributable to refiners taking advantage of better jet fuel margins and maximising output of jet fuel over diesel.
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