ARA gasoline stocks hit five-month high, naphtha stocks down: PJK

London (Platts)--10 Nov 2017 927 am EST/1427 GMT

Gasoline stocks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub rose 143,000 mt, or 18.5%, to a five-month high of 917,000 mt for the week ended November 8, data from PJK International showed.

The last time ARA gasoline stocks were as high was May 31.

Stocks are are also 24% higher year on year, the data showed.

While more interest to send gasoline cargoes out of the Northwest Europe was reported this week, including to North America, the gasoline arbitrage from Northwest Europe to the US Atlantic Coast has yet to fully open, market sources said.

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According to US Customs data, the USAC did not receive a single European gasoline cargo between October 28 and at least November 6, the longest period since S&P Global Platts started tracking the data in August 2015.

The last European cargo to deliver into the US Atlantic Coast was the Stenaweco Excellence, which deposited 280,381 barrels of conventional gasoline in New Jersey from Portugal on October 27, US Customs data showed.

European deliveries into the Atlantic Coast have been slowing since September, pulled away by a better arbitrage to West Africa and Asia, according to traders. In October, 5.42 million barrels of gasoline crossed the Atlantic into the US East Coast, the lowest monthly total since March.

Naphtha stocks in the ARA region fell 14,000 mt, or 5.5%, to 241,000 mt in the same reporting period, PJK data showed. Stocks were 51.6% higher year on year, the data also showed.

Demand had been resilient in the Northwest European naphtha market as steady petrochemical production lent support to feedstock naphtha.

The spread between naphtha and LPG narrowed to minus $6.25/mt Thursday, from minus $16.25/mt midweek.

The switch to using LPG as petrochemical feedstock is unlikely to take place for now, as the discount of LPG to naphtha is not deep enough, a naphtha trader said.

--Virginie Malicier,
--Edited by Jonathan Fox,

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