July 2, 2015
Premiums on Northwest European cargo and barge markets fell significantly Thursday, with strong selling interest into Rotterdam seen from Vitol in the Market on Close process.
The differential for CIF NWE cargoes to the front-month ICE low sulfur gasoil futures contract was assessed $6.25 lower at $21.75/mt -- its lowest level since June 11 -- as market sources still cited fundamental length in the region, despite healthy seasonal demand.
Spot buying interest had faded over the past few days, a development one source attributed to limited storage for opportunistic stock-taking.
"Jet's a dog...all the cheap storage has gone now so there's no keen interest in buying. Real demand hasn't taken off yet so it's all looking a bit boring and oversupplied," one source said. "If you look at how much jet Europe's built over the last few months...it's not really very bullish."
No bids or offers for barges were seen in the window Thursday -- continuing a period of thin liquidity -- and two sources said the picture was similar outside it as well.
Some sources said there could be a strike at the CIM Le Havre terminal Thursday, though could not be verified on the day.
Meanwhile, with the EFS widening out further, sources were mixed on whether the jet arb from the Far East region into Europe was workable.
"I think the arb [from Asia] is close to opening up...[but] freight is high, and getting higher," a third trader said.
In shipping, BP was heard to have the Arctic Flounder to load 65,000 mt of jet fuel from the west coast of India July 12 for delivery into Europe, while Shell had the STI Condotti for July 17 loading from Kuwait to deliver 90,000 mt of jet fuel into UK Continent, data from shipping sources showed.
Singapore cracks near five-year low
The Singapore jet crack, basis prompt Dubai, fell to a five-year low of $11.11/barrel Thursday.
The crack was last lower on May 24, 2010, when it stood at $10.79/b.
But jet fuel supply in Asia continues to climb as production outpaces demand.
"No change to the bigger picture jet [fuel] view," a trader at an international trading house said. "We have got too much jet supply."
Refinery start-ups and expansions have added to the regional supply of jet fuel but high freight rates have reduced the number of cargoes being shipped to the Middle East and Europe.
Nevertheless, several jet fuel cargoes have made their way from South Korea and are scheduled to arrive in the US West Coast in the first few weeks of July. They will arrive in the US just in time to cover the spike in jet fuel demand that typically follows robust summer travel demand.
Among the fixtures, the Maersk Murotsu was heard to be carrying jet fuel to Los Angeles from South Korea arriving Friday, and the Petali Lady heard to be carrying jet fuel for Chevron to Los Angeles arriving Thursday, according to Platts cFlow ship-tracking software.
Pacific Jewel was also heard to be carrying jet fuel to Los Angeles for Vitol, and was due to arrive July 14.
However, LA differentials fell for the first time in over a week Thursday.
Platts assessed the Los Angeles jet fuel differential down 1.50 cents to NYMEX August ULSD futures contract plus 1 cent/gal, or $1.8650/gal outright.
California jet fuel stocks rose last week even as refinery output continued to falter, according to California Energy Commission data. The region added 86,000 barrels of jet fuel to reach 2.96 million barrels while production fell 72,000 b/d to reach 1.70 million b/d.