LONDON, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Gasoline barge premiums in
northwest Europe came off slightly on Monday in a quiet market,
with many traders away from their desks for industry event
International Petroleum Week.
Flat prices on both sides of the Atlantic have been moving
steadily upwards since Hess's announcement that it will close
its Port Reading, New Jersey refinery just ahead of the spring
However, some analysts believe the move is overdone, with
ample supplies of European gasoline available to fill any gaps
that might arise on the U.S. East Coast.
In addition, Canada's Come By Chance refinery in
Newfoundland has now resumed full production following a power
outage on Feb. 4. This suggests the gasoline
market may be due for a correction.
On the naphtha side, prices were supported by a declaration
of force majeure from the operator of Libya's Ras Lanuf
refinery. Operations are still being affected by
last month's strike and power outage.
Elsewhere, Sonatrach will complete its upgrade work at
Algeria's largest refinery, Skikda, early next month. The 335,000 barrel-per-day refinery has been
undergoing maintenance and improvement work since early July
* Two barges of benchmark Eurobob traded at $1,102-$1,104 a
tonne fob ARA, up from Friday's window trades at $1,099-$1,100 a
tonne. Gunvor sold both the barges to Trafigura.
* The March swap was trading at around $1,106 a tonne at the
close, so the physical deals were done at $2-$4 a tonne
discounts. This is down on Friday's $1-$2 a tonne premiums.
* Some 6,000 tonnes traded ahead of the window at
$1,104-$1,105 a tonne fob ARA. Chevron, BP and Cargill were on
the sell side, whilst Trafigura and Gunvor were buyers.
* No barges of premium unleaded gasoline traded as there
were no bids. An offer came at $1,132 a tonne fob ARA, up from
$1,119-$1,128 a tonne on Friday.
* At 1649 GMT, Brent crude oil futures were down 52
cents at $117.14 a barrel.
* Eurobob's crack to dated Brent was at around $13.44
a barrel, down from around $13.90 a barrel on Friday, which was
the highest level since mid-October.
* March U.S. RBOB gasoline futures were up 0.56
percent at $3.1520 a gallon.
* RBOB's crack to U.S. crude oil futures was up
at $36.93 a barrel, from $35.56 a barrel around the same time on
* There were no trades in the window as many traders were
away from their desks for IP Week functions. A bid came at
$1,026 a tonne cif NWE. This was up from Friday's trade at
$1,008 a tonne.
* The naphtha crack swap for February was trading at around
minus $4.54 a barrel late on Monday.
(Reporting by Claire Milhench. Editing by Jane Merriman)
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