Europe ULSD Imports from Russia and U.S. Continue at Records
Shipments of ultra-low-sulfur diesel to Europe from Russia and the U.S. are continuing at record levels through the second and third quarters of 2014, as trade data reveals North American volumes almost doubled from April through June, and Russian exports climbed by more than a million tons during their third quarter, compared to the same time last year.
U.S. shipments of ULSD to Europe rose to just over 3.7 million metric tons (around 27.7 million barrels) in 2014's second quarter, compared to 1.92 million tons for the prior-year period, according to newly released European Commission (Eurostat) trading figures. Russian exports were 88% higher, at 4.17 million tons, data show.
During the third quarter, OPIS Tanker Tracker data on FleetMon.com, which tracks tankers and their ULSD cargoes in real time, showed volumes from the U.S. remained at the same level for the three-month period as they tapered off into September as a result of a closed arbitrage, or profit, to ship the fuel for resale across the Atlantic at a higher price.
The Tanker Tracker compiles information on shipping movements of ULSD from traders, brokers and satellite tracking data, and not all fixtures are reported to the market.
Third-quarter volumes from Russia were tallied at 3.5 million tons by the OPIS Tanker Tracker, lower than the official data from the prior quarter, but nearly 1 million tons higher than the same period last year, based on Eurostat figures.
Overall, third quarter 2014 ULSD imports to the 28 member countries from Russia and the U.S., the two biggest suppliers, are tracked at 7.36 million tons on 281 tankers, data show. In the first six months the two countries supplied Europe with about 83% of its imported ULSD, Eurostat figures show.
Diesel shipments to Europe are surging as Russia modernizes its refineries to produce lower-sulfur transport fuels and high-margin American refineries with access to cheap feedstock and energy costs ship lower-cost middle distillates to Europe, which has a deficit of the fuel.
The OPIS Tanker Tracker compiles information from traders and brokers, and FleetMon ship tracking to provide a real-time insight into Europe-bound refined products on tankers. Pinpoint detailed shipping information, such as vessel, product and volume being transported, and buying or selling party and gain critical intelligence on the movement of product from port to port. Learn more and take advantage of a 21-day, no-obligation free trial.