Trans-Atlantic Diesel Cargoes Tracked in Rare Reverse Trade

Two further cargoes of ultra-low sulfur diesel or gasoil are seen heading across the Atlantic from the Baltic port of Primorsk.

BP is said to be the buyer of one cargo, supplied by Gazprom and loaded on the tanker Fantasia, at the Russian port on Dec. 7, according to the OPIS Tanker Tracker. The ship is signaling it will arrive at San Juan, Puerto Rico, in two weeks’ time, vessel tracking data show.

The Bow Elm, which reportedly loaded a 33,000-ton cargo of ULSD at the Latvian Baltic port of Ventspils on Nov. 27, is also seen heading for Argentina, another rare voyage from this region. The vessel, chartered by Vitol, is due to arrive on Dec. 20, based on vessel-tracking data.

All Primorsk cargoes tracked by OPIS are seen sold and shipped to north-west Europe, with Russia the largest supplier of ULSD to Europe. However a few ships were seen in early November shipping ULSD to the U.S. and several earlier in the year, in rare reverse trades, said to be spurred by price arbitrages opened by a diesel glut and low prices in Europe.

The same oversupply situation for jet has also seen other rare voyages and routes used by traders to deal with the need for floating storage or make contango trades work.

Two ships laden with jet fuel, and possibly a third, are currently identified on voyages from the Middle East or Asia to northwest Europe via the Cape of Good Hope, instead of the shorter, normal route west via the Suez Canal.

Vitol’s 90,000-ton cargo of jet fuel is heading around the Cape on the STI Veneto, after loading in South Korea last month. The vessel is signaling it will arrive in Rotterdam about Dec. 25, according to the OPIS Tanker Tracker. Total-controlled Tofteviken is heading to Le Havre via the Cape of Good Hope after loading about 90,000 tons of jet fuel in the Middle East Gulf in late November.

The vessel should arrive around Dec. 30 based on its current position and sailing speed. A third ship, STI Elysees, also chartered by Vitol and tracked by OPIS is also likely to be heading around the Cape of Good Hope on its way to Europe.

The vessel, which loaded 90,000 tons of jet fuel at Ruwais on Nov. 30 is not transiting to its expected destination of north-west Europe via the Suez Canal, after bypassing the Gulf of Aden.

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