Fuel cargo deliveries were on a slightly firmer basis as the summer season approached and the demand for jet fuel in Europe grew. At the beginning of May, the jet kero market was well balanced, and the rest of Europe was stabilized and ready to cover the high demand over the summer season. However, in the middle of May, a strike hit the French refineries and this resulted in market supply being tightened considerably. It was reported that Total borrowed jet fuel from the French military as well as from strategic stocks to keep the internal market supplied. Jet fuel cargoes were also moved from the Arabian Gulf to keep the French market adequately supplied. The strike which affected the French pipeline system that supplies most of France’s major airports was announced to continue until the end of the first week of the June. This saw the CIF NWE price move upwards from 399 USD/ton to 479 USD/ton.
In the first week of June, the pipeline system continued to provide adequate supplies to the European Market, but France still faced difficulties accessing jet fuel. There were discussions of supplies coming from RTM (Rotterdam) into the French market to keep the supply from ARA unchanged. The flow of the jet fuel from ARA was still making its way along the pipeline to major French airports, which caused the price to drop by 8 USD/ton. Another French ATC strike saw many flights canceled, and also meant planes were filling up at alternate airports, so the loss of demand in France was replaced by higher demand elsewhere. For example, the UK ordered 160’000 MT from the Arabian Gulf to cover the summer season and any other similar occurrences to that in France. This brought the price to 481USD/ton from 467USD/ton.
In the Mediterranean, demand is currently being met by domestic supply and some imports from North Africa and the Arabian Gulf. Barges coming from the Arabic Gulf are pushing the price of the European jet market down to 445USD/ton – the lowest price since May 23rd. There is confusion about demand for jet fuel in Europe, especially as the tanks across the continent are well stocked for the summer peak. It’s expected that European prices will keep dropping until the end of the June as the demand is lower than previous months.