Updates from July, 2013
• Shipping fixtures showed more cargoes staying within the region, although trading firms with supply commitments to Europe and that have locked in freight at lower rates continued to fix loadings on vessels bound for Europe.
• The backwardation in the Ice gasoil market weakened, leaving little incentive to store jet fuel in Europe. Air travel demand in Europe has risen with the onset of the summer travel season but is mostly in line with expectations, with trading firms having already met the bulk of requirements. Weak European demand means spot cargoes from the Mideast Gulf are likely to stay within the region.
• Naphtha buyers were able to resist higher premiums as persistently heavy arbitrage inflows from Europe weighed on the market.
• Supplies were ample for June and early-July loading from Europe and the Mediterranean, with the arbitrage to North America having been shut for more than a month amid high stocks in the US. Stocks in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) hub fell over the week by about 89,000t, or 11.3pc, to 699,000t as of 27 June. But this was still about 76,000t, or 12pc, higher than 623,000t in the same week last year, according to Dutch consultancy PJK International. Arbitrage opportunities from the US were limited amid weak demand. Gasoline inventories in the country rose unexpectedly to 225.4mn bl in the week to 21 June, up by 3.7mn bl from a week earlier, statistics from US government agency EIA showed.
• Base Oil Group I Prices FOB Europe export prices knocked down as demand weakens.
• Spot cargo bookings from Europe and the Mediterranean to the US remain very thin, with US stocks 20mn bl higher than a year earlier and more than 5pc above the five-year average. Demand remains low across Europe, with the latest data from the UK government indicating that gasoline demand dropped by nearly 10pc in the first quarter of 2013 from a year earlier.