ARA fuel oil stocks up 8% on week to 1.356 mil mt: Insights Global
7th August 2020 18:49 GMT

Stocks of fuel oil in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub rose 8% to 1.356 million mt in the week to Aug. 6, according to data from Insights Global, as the market grappled with weak demand amid the summer lull.

The Insights Global data does not provide a breakdown of fuel oil types.

European fuel oil sources this week continued to cite absent demand, as the summer lull continued and ample stocks weigh on the market.

“Both ARA and the Mediterranean look weak now,” a source said for VLSFO, pinning this down to the summer lull and the ongoing impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

This sentiment was mirrored by a number of sources throughout the week.

The outlook in the market remained uncertain, as fears of a second wave of the coronavirus resonated.

One Mediterranean-based source suggested that weak demand for HSFO in the region was leading to product being put into storage, despite being in backwardation.

In the 3.5%S FOB Rotterdam fuel oil barge swaps market, on Aug. 6, the backwardation for M1-M2 was assessed down at $1.25/mt from $4/mt a week earlier, while the six-month forward dropped more notably, from a $5.50/mt backwardation to a minus $4/mt contango on the week.

A Northwest European source also said they were not seeing any HSFO product from the Baltic Sea going into the ARA-region, with demand remaining similar to a month ago.

New data seen this week showed that in July, 46% of all HSFO leaving the Baltic Sea made its way to the US, according to the data intelligence firm Kpler, totaling more than 7.1 million barrels.

For the first seven months of 2020, on average more than 35% of the product has been making the voyage, up from 10.8% for the same period of 2019.

In July, the ARA hub exported 40,000 mt of 0.5%S marine fuel to Singapore, the first export volumes in three months, according to Kpler.

However, export outlets east remain muted as Singapore is likewise well supplied. “[VLSFO] arbitrage arrivals from the West [to Singapore] are expected to slow to 1.5 million-2 million mt in August,” S&P Global Platts Analytics said in its recent Asia-Pacific Weekly Recap report.

The contango in the VLSFO swaps market continued to strengthen on the week to minus $6/mt for M1-M2 on Aug. 6, as a lack of demand weighed on the market.

Demand for bunker fuel in Northwest Europe has been varied this week, although some say it remains down from pre-coronavirus levels. As a result, delivered-bunker fuel premiums over upstream barge assessments have narrowed from February this year.

Bunkerworld .,
7th August 2020 18:49 GMT