Diesel Imports to Europe Seen Climbing in August
Shipments of diesel arriving in August in Europe from the U.S. are so far tracked at 941,000 metric tons on 24 tankers, according to the OPIS Tanker Tracker.
That compares to just over 1.3 million tons of ULSD tracked discharging from the U.S. in July, a month when crude runs averaged their highest-ever level recorded by the Energy Information Administration and refinery output was strong.
U.S. imports this month are seen at the highest level since January, based on data from Eurostat, the European Commission's statistics agency.
Overall ULSD shipments to Europe totaled 3.4 million tons in July, according to information compiled from traders, brokers and satellite-tracking data.
July volumes from Russia, the biggest supplier of ULSD to Europe, were tracked at 1.57 million tons, slightly higher than the 1.3 million tons the prior month and so far tally 686,000 tons.
Overall August imports are currently tracked at 2.4 million tons on 60 ships, with more vessels likely to be identified to make the 15-day voyage from the U.S. and the five-day voyage from Russia.
While the ULSD premiums paid over front-month low sulfur gasoil contracts trading on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange have steadily declined in value over July, averages show that differentials gained over the prior month.
The differential paid over the front-month gasoil contract averaged $3.36 per metric ton for diesel in northwest Europe in July, compared to an average of $2.83 in June.
Diesel sold in the Mediterranean averaged a $9.48 premium, just above June's average of a $9.43 premium, OPIS data show.
Several ships with larger cargoes were observed calling this month at Gibraltar, at the mouth of the Mediterranean, where ship-to-ship transfers of refined products are undertaken onto smaller vessels that then call at Mediterranean ports.
Vessels controlled by Glencore, BP and Total and laden with ULSD were observed undertaking this practice in July.