(Bloomberg) -- Europe is poised for a influx of US diesel this month, though lower shipments from Asia and the Middle East will see overall imports decline even as the continent seeks alternatives to Russian barrels this winter. 

Diesel and gasoil arrivals in the European Union and the UK from the US may jump to more than 290,000 barrels a day, early estimates from data provided by analytics firm Kpler and compiled by Bloomberg show. Volumes haven’t been that high since July 2018.

Exports from the US Gulf Coast have surged as the end of the autumn refinery maintenance boosted supplies. Meanwhile shipments to Latin American destinations have been affected by worsening bottlenecks in the Panama Canal, creating an incentive to ship cargoes toward Europe.

“Increased supply due to USGC refineries’ exit from the autumn maintenance season is being offset by resilient domestic demand and high export demand to Europe and Latin America,” Kpler said in a report.

December estimates include vessels en-route from the US Gulf Coast and some planned cargoes set to sail in the coming days. Imports may be revised higher if more cargoes are observed for the month.

Freight rates to ship diesel from the US Gulf to Europe surged last month in line with increased exports from the region. A Panama-bound tanker was also diverted to Europe amid transit delays via the canal.

However, overall diesel and gasoil imports into core Europe from external suppliers are likely to remain lackluster this month. Initial observed shipments of the fuel to the EU and the UK for the month suggest about 705,000 barrels a day. That’s the lowest monthly volume in data from Kpler since at least the start of 2017.

The elevated shipments from the Americas are likely to be offset by the slump in flows from Asia and the Middle East, where there is heavy refinery maintenance. While a few more cargoes can still sail from the Middle East and complete their voyage to Europe before the month-end, any incremental volumes are likely to be limited.

While higher supply following the end of Europe’s own refinery maintenance season “should, together with weak demand, lengthen gasoil/diesel balances on the European continent, we expect them to remain tighter than normal in December,” Kpler said.

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