London — Germany's Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy Wednesday granted oil importers and businesses permission to take delivery of 84,000 mt of gasoline, 180,000 mt of ultra-low sulfur diesel, and 67,000 mt of jet fuel from its strategic stocks, according to a press release.
Diesel and gasoline will be released from stocks in southern Germany, most notably Cologne, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Wurttemberg, and Bavaria. Meanwhile, jet fuel will be released from stocks in Frankfurt, Cologne, and other parts of southern Germany.
Low Rhine water levels have presented significant logistical problems for end-users and importers of ULSD, gasoline, gasoil used as heating oil, and jet fuel, with one trader active in the region saying he "was praying for rain" to alleviate the nightmare for barges transporting product along the Rhine. WVS, the German waterways authority, said water levels reached a low of 26 cm Friday and forecast 28 cm for Monday.
One market participant said only lighter, single-hull barges can still navigate in the region. However, most big suppliers had already switched to using only double-hull barges ahead of the ban on single-hull vessels in European inland waterways next year.
The low availability of single-hull barges has thus led to high freight rates. S&P Global Platts assessed freight costs from Rotterdam to Basel at $157.30/mt. Germany's release of supplies announced Friday may lower demand for barges, putting some downward pressure on freight prices.
The country's decision follows the release of strategic ULSD stocks by Switzerland October 22 and the release of diesel and 0.1% gasoil stocks by France over the past few weeks.
According to a market participant, France's SAGESS, the public authority in charge of managing strategic oil reserves, has already released more than 84,000 mt of ULSD and between 13,000-17,000 mt of 0.1% gasoil. A source at SAGESS confirmed Thursday the release of large volumes of ULSD and smaller ones of 0.1% gasoil.
--Leon Izbicki, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Virginie Malicier, email@example.com
--Edited by Jonathan Loades-Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Platts Oilgram News brings fast-breaking global petroleum and natural gas news every day covering supply and demand trends, corporate news, government actions, exploration, technology, and much more. Click on the link below and we will set you up with a free trial.Free Trial