Gasoil flows to West Africa dry up, gasoline flows at 296,000 mt so far for May


Volumes of refined oil products set to arrive in West Africa from Europe, the US Gulf Coast, the Middle East and Asia in May amount to around 296,000 mt so far, data from S&P Global Platts trade flow software cFlow showed.

In April the volume of refined oil products — almost exclusively gasoline and gasoil — totaled around 1.5 million mt, down from 2.178 million mt in March, according to cFlow.

Flows to West Africa likely to be gasoline amount so far to around 296,000 mt for May, with seven medium-range tankers with gasoline onboard having left Northwest Europe for West Africa in the past eight days.

However, there seemed to be currently no new vessel bringing gasoil to West Africa, according to cFlow. Flows to West Africa — mostly from Northwest Europe, but also Singapore — likely to be gasoil totaled around 330,000 mt in April, down from 450,000 million mt in March.

“The market has gone really really quiet,” said a source active in the West African gasoline market. Higher flat prices are the main reason for buyers holding off, with many speculating on them coming down in the short term, the source said.

West African demand for oil products is particularly sensitive to flat price increases, and with most of them reaching three-year highs last week, spot demand for gasoline and gasoil from West Africa has plunged over the past fortnight.

“The WAF gasoil market is very quiet,” a trader said, adding that trading activity was particularly slow.

The last vessel to bring gasoil to West Africa was the Minerva Aries, which brought a 90,000 mt cargo from Antwerp, Belgium, to Lome, Togo, where it landed on April 24.

Among the latest fixtures, the Cape Tampa and the Marilee were both heard fixed to load a 60,000 mt gasoline cargo each around May 2 from the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub to West Africa. The Cordula Jacob was heard on subjects to load a 60,000 mt cargo of either gasoline or gasoil around May 7 from Ventspils in Latvia to West Africa.