Europe Diesel Imports Tracked Over 4 Million Tons For Seventh Month

Monthly imports of diesel in Europe are on track to exceed four million tons for a seventh consecutive month, as traders bring over shipments from the Middle East at the same time as volumes from the U.S. are poised to reach an 18-month high.

Some 4.1 million metric tons on 95 tankers is so far tracked arriving in the 28 member countries in August, according to the OPIS Tanker Tracker.

The figure includes 500,000 metric tons from Baltic ports of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia, which typically export ultra-low sulfur gasoil of Russian origin, as well as a further 1 million tons directly from Russia, Europe's biggest supplier.

Buoying volumes this month are the 1.5 million tons seen being shipped over the Atlantic from the U.S., based on information compiled from traders, brokers and satellite vessel tracking.

That's the highest seen in Tanker Tracker data going back to Jan. 2015. Eurostat trade data, available to May 2016, shows the largest volumes over that time period was 1.4 million tons imported last October.

There's also 550,000 tons on ULSD tracked on tankers loaded in Saudi Arabia's Yanbu and Jubail refineries seen arriving in August. Monthly imports from the kingdom have averaged just under 500,000 tons over the first five months of 2016, according to data from Eurostat, the European Commission's trade database.

September volumes are already tallied at 1.2 million tons on 17 vessels, but six of the 12 tankers are noted to be loading ULSD in Asia or India and have options to ship east or west of the Suez canal and may not end up making the voyage to northwest Europe.

This month has also seen Europe-bound vessels laden with diesel stop off the Moroccan coastline mid-voyage, or sail at slower speeds to delay reaching the region amid reports that shore-based storage is tight.

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