LONDON, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Gasoline cracks edged higher on
Monday in tighter market, particularly in the Mediterranean as
run cuts kept supplies low while demand for the product outside
the Europe rose.
U.S. demand for gasoline has reawakened as major U.S. plants
such as Motiva's Port Arthur refinery and BP's
Whiting refinery, undergo works.
The European market is already tight due to the closure or
idling of a number of Italian refineries. In addition, European
refineries already began cutting runs at the end of December as
margins began sinking.
Further tightening the situation, gasoline production at
Algeria's largest refinery Skikda has been reduced following a
small fire at one of its reformers, several traders said on
'I think Skikda will impact Mediterranean gasoline a bit,
refineries are cutting a bit and supply might be tight,' one
gasoline trader said. 'Good demand from Arab Gulf and probably
also West Africa is pulling something even from North because
Mediterranean is too expensive.'
Gasoline production will be slightly reduced due to the
incident but it was not clear when the reformer would be fixed.
As a consequence, naphtha exports will be slightly higher as
less of the product will be used domestically to produce
One trader pointed out that the timing was unfortunate for
Algeria as the gasoline/naphtha spread had widened due to a
tighter gasoline market.
* One barge of benchmark Eurobob traded in the window at
$975 a tonne fob ARA.
* Around 5,000 tonnes traded early in the session at $970,
$972 and $981 a tonne fob ARA, in a wider range than Friday's
deals at $975-$978 a tonne. Chevron, Total and Vitol sold to
Trafigura, Shell and Gunvor.
* The early trades came at premiums to the February swap of
$4.00-$8.00 a tonne, in a lower range than Friday's at $7.50-$10
* Two barges of premium unleaded gasoline traded at $1,002 a
tonne fob ARA, up from deals on Friday at $998-$1,000 a tonne.
* Trafigura and Gunvor sold to Statoil.
* At 1711 GMT, Brent crude oil futures were down 33
cents at $110.98 a barrel.
* Eurobob's crack to dated Brent was at around $3.32
a barrel, up slightly from $3.02 a barrel on Friday.
* February U.S. RBOB gasoline futures were up 0.11
percent at $2.7674 a gallon.
* RBOB's crack to U.S. crude oil futures was
trading at around $23.27 a barrel, up slightly from $23.11 a
barrel on Friday.
* In the Mediterranean, Trafigura bid for a cargo at a
combination price of Mean fob plus $5.00 and $1,001.50 a tonne
fob Santa Panagia for Jan. 18-22.
* Two cargoes of naphtha traded at $929-$933 a tonne cif
Northwest Europe, in a slightly lower range from Friday's deals
at $932-$934 a tonne cif NWE.
* Vitol sold the cargoes to Trafigura and Shell.
* The prompt naphtha crack was at about minus $6.39,
slightly weaker than Friday at minus $6.12 a barrel.
(Reporting by Julia Payne; editing by James Jukwey)
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