LONDON, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Gasoline barge prices in northwest
Europe slipped back on Monday after running up on Friday
following a pick up in shipping fixtures to the United States.
But by Monday wiser heads had prevailed as traders became
more cautious, saying the flurry of fixtures did not reflect any
real increase in U.S. demand.
Several argued that the only reason more tankers had been
booked was because the price of ethanol credits or RINs had come
off, opening the arbitrage to the United States.
Gasoline cracks remain under pressure, dipping below $10 a
barrel again in northwest Europe, and traders said the overall
trend was to the downside.
They pointed out that the U.S. summer driving season was
drawing to a close and the risk of hurricane activity, which can
close U.S. refineries, is falling. Others pointed to decent
gasoline stock levels in the United States, despite an
unexpected fall in inventories last week.
Gasoline shipments to West Africa have also tailed off, and
gasoline components traders said their market was 'comatose.'
'West Africa is quiet - freight is expensive for medium
range tankers,' a gasoline broker said.
Closer to home, German lock-keepers are striking again this
week, but shipping delays are expected to be local and
restricted to smaller canals.
Meanwhile, Libyan oil exports are still being affected by
protests that have closed its major oil ports.
But naphtha traders said this had yet to impact their market
as Libya's naphtha exports have dwindled since the start of the
'There used to be four cargoes a month from Ras Lanuf back
in January and February and now it's dropped to two. Zawiya
exports dried up at the end of last year,' one trader said.
* One barge of benchmark Eurobob gasoline traded in the
Platts price assessment window. Gunvor sold 1,000 tonnes to
Statoil at $1,004 a tonne fob ARA.
* The September swap was trading at about $989 a tonne at
the close, indicating a premium of $15 a tonne for the physical
* Some 28,000 tonnes of gasoline traded ahead of the window
at $1,000-$1,018 a tonne fob ARA, down from Friday's pre-window
trades at $1,028-$1,035 a tonne.
* The flat price fell steadily over the course of Monday's
session, with the early trades coming at premiums to the
September swap of $17.50-$20 a tonne. This was down from
Friday's premiums of $28-$35 a tonne.
* Noble, BP, Total and Trafigura were on the sell side,
whilst Gunvor, Statoil, Shell and Kolmar were buyers.
* Two barges of premium unleaded gasoline traded at $1,013 a
tonne, down from $1,023 a tonne on Friday.
* Litasco bought both the barges, one from Northville and
one from Vitol.
* By 1544 GMT, Eurobob's crack to dated Brent was at
around $9.89 a barrel, down from around $13 a barrel on Friday.
* ICE Brent crude futures were down 15 cents at
$108.80 a barrel.
* U.S. RBOB gasoline futures in New York were down
1.09 percent at $2.9622 a gallon. The prompt crack
was down at $17.53 a barrel from $18.84 a barrel on Friday.
* Trafigura sold an Aug. 15-19 naphtha cargo to Shell at
$890 a tonne cif NWE, up from last Friday's trade at $883 a
* The naphtha crack was a little firmer at minus $9.47 a
barrel, from minus $9.79 a barrel on Friday.
* In Asia, an important market for European naphtha,
Malaysia's Lotte Chemical Titan has shut its two naphtha
crackers following an outage and may need to defer some of its
inbound naphtha volumes.
(Reporting by Claire Milhench. Editing by Jane Merriman)
Keywords: MARKETS EUROPE/GASOLINE
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