Europe Gasoline/Naphtha-Cracks dip, seen weaker
Gasoline refining margins slipped
back on Friday, dented by ample supply, as stocks in the region
jumped, partly due to slack demand, with traders seeing further
weakness into the summer.
Gasoline stocks independently held in the
Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp oil hub jumped by 34 percent over
the past week, independent oil analyst Patrick Kulsen said on
Gasoline stocks rose to 928,000 tonnes from 691,000 last
week, the data showed, their highest since March 2011.
High refining margins in the region for gasoline in recent
weeks has encouraged refiners to produce more of the fuel, but
traders say demand subsequently retreated, leading to a build-up
Another factor contributing to the build-up has
been the return of refineries from seasonal maintenance, and the
fact that some refineries scheduled for closure on both sides of
the Atlantic will now remain open.
However some analysts see some support for refining margins,
at least in the short term due to hedge funds moving
aggressively into a short position too early, and supply being
pulled to the United States.
"The funds have shortened the margins too prematurely we
have been drawing massively in the States," a trader said.
"I think it will go $2 per barrel higher before collapsing."
Demand from north Africa helped give a slight boost to
prospects for the fuel.
Egypts state-owned oil company is seeking to import 12
cargoes of gasoline for delivery between July and September via
a tender, traders said on Friday.
* No barges of benchmark Eurobob traded in the window, but
some 8,000 tonnes traded ahead of the window at $981-$985 a
tonne fob ARA, down from the $998-$999 a tonne range on
* Vitol, Chevron and Litasco sold to Cargill and BP.
* Eurobobs crack to dated Brent BFO- was down at $8.93,
down from the $9.75 a barrel, seen around the same time the
* Four barges of premium unleaded gasoline traded in the
window at $1004-$1005, a little below the $1,008-$1,010 a tonne,
* Morgan Stanley and Gunvor sold to Vitol
* ICE Brent crude futures were down 30 cents at
$107.19 a barrel at 1545 GMT.
* June U.S. RBOB gasoline futures in New York
outperformed, up 0.3 percent at $2.8860 a gallon around the same
* RBOBs crack to U.S. crude futures RB-CL1=R was trading
at $29.36 a barrel, up from the $28.94 a barrel, the previous
* One naphtha cargo traded in the window at $856 a tonne cif
NWE, down from the $873 a tonne seen on Thursday. BP bought from
* Market players were very downbeat on prospects for the
market, though a supply shortage for the remainder of the front
month contract helping support the price in the very short term.
* Overall view of naphtha is still very bearish, but short
term in the (north-west Europe) physical market looks balanced,"
a broker said. "Theres just not much product around during the
balance of May."
* The refining margin was at about minus $10.39 a barrel,
according to Reuters calculations.
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