Europe Gasoline at 7-Month High; BP Buys Three Diesel Barges: Oil Products

European gasoline barge prices soared to the highest level in seven months as companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA purchased lots. The fuel’s crack, or premium to crude, narrowed.

Gasoil futures traded on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange gained as Brent crude increased. The crack shrank. BP Plc bought three diesel barge shipments at $25 premium.

Light Products

Gasoline barges for immediate loading in Amsterdam- Rotterdam-Antwerp traded from $784 to as much as $808 a metric ton, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board and Platts pricing window. That compares with deals yesterday from $782 to $787. The motor fuel reached $809 a ton on April 26.

Shell and Koch Industries Inc. bought 4,000 tons each of the 10,000 tons that changed hands in the morning. Total purchased 6,000 tons in the afternoon. Gunvor International Ltd. and BP were the main sellers. The trades are for Eurobob grade, to which ethanol is added to make the finished fuel.

Gasoil and gasoline prices have “limited upside” in the coming months because of a significant refining overcapacity, Societe Generale SA said. “Any local product tightness resulting in a spike in crack spreads is likely to be temporary and should be sold,” the Paris-based bank said today in a note.

Gasoline’s crack narrowed to $5.85 a barrel from $6.20 yesterday, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker in London.

Naphtha’s crack fell to $2.25 a barrel from $2.85 yesterday, PVM data shows. Naphtha is used in gasoline and petrochemicals production.

Middle Distillates

Gasoil barges traded at discounts of $8 to $9 a ton to December ICE gasoil, according to the survey of the Platts pricing window which ends at 4:30 p.m. in London. That’s in line with yesterday’s deals.

Gasoil for December delivery increased 1.3 percent to $739 a ton as of 5:18 p.m. London time on the ICE exchange. The January contract rose 1.4 percent to $745 a ton.

Gasoil’s crack, a measure of refining profit, shrank to $11.74 a barrel from $12.67 yesterday, according to ICE data. Brent for January surged 2.8 percent to $88.35 a barrel on ICE.

Ultra-low-sulfur diesel barges traded at premiums of $23 to $25 a ton to December ICE gasoil, the Platts survey showed. That compares with two trades yesterday at a $21 premium. BP bought at the higher price for Dec. 11 to Dec 15 shipments and sold at $23.50 for Dec 6 to Dec. 10 delivery.

Rhine Barge Rates

The cost of shipping oil-products by barge on the Rhine river fell to the lowest in almost two months as demand waned because of high inventories.

The cost of shipping gasoil from ARA to Duisburg in Germany fell to an average of 3.40 euros ($4.45) a ton yesterday, according to PJK International BV, a consultant based in the Netherlands. That’s the lowest price since Oct. 4.

“In spite of the northwest European cold spell supporting some heating oil demand, relatively high importer stocks and end-users only buying what they strictly needed kept interest limited,” PJK said in a note dated yesterday.

The barge clearance level at Kaub, a potential bottleneck 40 miles west of Frankfurt, rose to 212 centimeters (84 inches) yesterday from 200 centimeters on Oct. 4, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The clearance level is the depth at which a laden barge can travel without the risk of running aground.

Refinery News

Nynas AB resumed operations at its Dundee oil refinery in Scotland following a Nov. 10 fire that was caused by leaking crude. The refinery can process 10,000 barrels of oil a day and mainly produces bitumen, according to Bloomberg data.

Separately, Nynas temporarily shut some production last night at its 22,000 barrel-a-day Nynaeshamn refinery in Sweden, the company said today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nidaa Bakhsh in London at nbakhsh@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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