European gasoline barge prices rose to the highest level this year as Royal Dutch Shell Plc bought for a fourth day. The fuel’s crack, or premium to crude, widened to a four-month high.
Gasoil futures traded on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange gained on increasingly cold temperatures in the region. The crack spread expanded.
Gasoline barges for immediate loading in Amsterdam- Rotterdam-Antwerp traded from $816 to $824 a metric ton, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That compares with deals yesterday from $784 to $808.
Shell bought 4,000 tons of the 10,000 tons that changed hands. Koch Industries Inc. purchased 3,000 tons. Gunvor International Ltd. and Mabanaft BV were the main sellers. The trades are for Eurobob grade, to which ethanol is added to make the finished fuel.
Gasoline’s crack expanded to $6.82 a barrel from $6.45 yesterday, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker in London. That’s the highest premium since Aug. 2.
Naphtha’s crack was unchanged at $2.65 a barrel, PVM data shows. Naphtha is used in gasoline and petrochemicals production.
Gasoil for December delivery increased 1.5 percent to $746 a ton as of 1:02 p.m. London time on the ICE exchange. The January contract also rose 1.5 percent to $751.50 a ton.
Gasoil’s crack, a measure of refining profit, widened to $11.70 a barrel from $10.49 yesterday, according to ICE data. Brent for January rose 0.4 percent to $89.18 a barrel on ICE.
Temperatures in London are expected to drop to minus four degrees Celsius (25 Fahrenheit) by Dec. 7 from minus one today, according to data by CustomWeather Inc.
OAO Gazprom Neft is considering building a hydrocracker at its refinery in Omsk, enabling its largest oil-processing plant to produce more premium products including diesel and jet fuel.
OAO Lukoil is building a diesel-producing unit at its Burgas refinery in Bulgaria, which will allow it to increase exports of cleaner fuels. The heavy residue hydrocracker will be completed by 2012.
The company also plans to expand capacity of a hydrocracker at the Vlissingen refinery in the Netherlands, in which it holds a 45 percent stake, to 3.8 million tons annually within four years compared with 3.5 million tons currently.
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