A cargo of European gasoline that recently loaded from the ARA hub in northwest Europe is on its way to Australia, the first time the flow has emerged along this route since May.
The long range (LR2) tanker Front Capella loaded from Amsterdam in late October and is currently signalling ‘Botany Bay’ as is destination. It would arrive there in early December.
The tanker was provisionally chartered by Total to load gasoline from ARA in early October, and booked with both west Africa and Australia discharge options.
European gasoline exports to Australia were a rare occurrence before 2018, but averaged 35,000 b/d in January-June 2018, and around 40,000 b/d in January-May this year, Vortexa data show. This month's new departure follows the same pattern as last year, when an October cargo also loaded after a several month hiatus.
The seasonal switch from summer to winter grade specification in the northern hemisphere – and the related draw-down of summer-spec inventories – may have encouraged the journey to the southern hemisphere.
Australia’s top source of gasoline and blending components year-to-date have been Singapore, South Korea, the US and the Netherlands.
Gasoline imports into Botany Bay accounts for around half (or 60,000 b/d) of the country's total imports year-to-date, the largest among all the ports in Australia.
A wave of pipeline and terminal projects coming on stream has led to a boom in Corpus Christi’s seaborne crude exports in recent months, with volumes reaching a record high of 1.5mn b/d in January, Vortexa data show.