April 11, 2014 / 5:02 PM / in 4 years

Europe Gasoline/Naphtha-Gasoline cracks rise on overseas demand

LONDON, April 11 (Reuters) - Gasoline prompt cracks in
northwest Europe rose on Friday to their highest level in about
nine months as a flurry of spot exports were booked to West
Africa and the United States. 
    Stocks on the U.S. East Coast, a major export destination
for European gasoline, fell more sharply than expected last week
while demand in West Africa and Latin America is strong. 
    "We're seeing quite some cargoes being booked for trans
Atlantic so prices have gone up a fair bit," said one trader.
    "But if all the tankers that are being booked go across then
I think it can't last. They'll get such an armada that it will
take them some time to digest."
    Two tanker bookings from northwest Europe to the United
States surfaced on Thursday, according to Reuters shipping data.
    BP booked a tanker to Brazil, where a poor sugar crop has
hit ethanol supplies and importers are stocking up ahead of the
soccer World Cup. Four tankers were fixed for West Africa. 
    Mercuria booked a cargo of unleaded from northwest Europe to
the Mediterranean, where traders say strong demand from Algeria
and Saudi Arabia has seen the market tighten this month. 
    Demand for gasoline in northwest Europe was limited,
however, while low water levels on the Rhine river in Germany
hampered barge loading and raised freight rates. 
    The naphtha market was quiet though there was some demand
from gasoline blenders who use light naphtha as a component.
    "We're seeing quite a bit of light virgin naphtha material
around, a few players with overseas parcels available," said one
    * One barge of benchmark Eurobob traded in the Platts price
assessment window at $1,018 a tonne fob ARA, up from
$1,008-$1,009 a tonne on Thursday. Gunvor sold to Vitol. 
    * Outside the window, around 11 barges of gasoline traded at
$1,007-$1,018 a tonne fob ARA, up from $1,008-$1,009 a tonne a
day earlier. Gunvor, BP, Statoil and Trafigura sold. Vitol,
Shell, Trafigura, BP and Morgan Stanley bought. 
    * By the market close, the May swap was trading at around
$1,014 a tonne, up from $1,006.25 a tonne on Thursday.    
    * Two barges of premium unleaded gasoline traded at $1,026 a
tonne fob ARA, up from $1,020 a tonne on Thursday. Trafigura
sold to Vitol and Total. 
    * By 1648 GMT, Eurobob's crack to dated Brent BFO- was at
around $12.93 a barrel. 
    * Brent crude oil futures were up 24 cents at
$107.70 a barrel at 1641 GMT. 
    * U.S. RBOB gasoline futures in New York were up 0.9
percent at $3.0347 a gallon, and the prompt crack RB-CL1=R was
up at $23.04 a barrel.
    * No barges of naphtha traded in the window on Friday. There
were two offers and two bids with the highest bid coming in
a$929 a tonne cif northwest Europe, up from a trade at $926 a
tonne on Thursday. 

 (Reporting by Lin Noueihed, editing by David Evans)

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