European premium gasoline advanced to the highest price in more than two years as Total SA bought lots on the barge market.
Trafigura bought a 12,500-ton naphtha cargo at $841 a ton for delivery to Rotterdam from Dec. 22 to Dec. 26, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. Naphtha cargoes changed hands yesterday at $838 and $842 a ton.
Premium unleaded 95-octane grade climbed to $839 a ton, the survey showed. That’s the highest price since Oct. 1, 2008. Premium barge deals were from $831 and $836.50 a ton yesterday.
Eurobob grade gasoline barges for immediate loading in Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp traded from $826 to $838 a metric ton, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board and Platts. That compares with deals yesterday from $816 to $831 a ton.
BP Plc, Chevron Corp. and Morgan Stanley were among today’s sellers. Ethanol is added to Eurobob to make finished fuel.
The barge market is for loads of no more than 5,000 tons.
Gasoil for December delivery increased 2.4 percent to $768.75 a ton on London’s ICE Futures Europe as of 5:47 p.m. local time. The gasoil crack, a measure of refining profit, widened to $12.34 a barrel, ICE data show. A crack spread is the difference between oil products and Brent crude.
Diesel barges advanced relative to December ICE gasoil. Deals were done at a premium of $23 and $24 to the gasoil contract, more than yesterday’s range from $22 to $23, the survey showed.
Low-sulfur fuel oil’s premium to the high-sulfur grade widened to $9. That compares with $6 yesterday for the shipping fuel, the lowest since Feb. 25.
Fuel oil’s discount to gasoil will widen as demand for diesel pushes refiners to raise processing rates, leading to an increase in residue supply, according to Deutsche Bank AG.
“On the expectation that gasoil demand growth rates will continue to rise steadily and as higher refinery runs responding to gasoil strength results in higher fuel oil supply, we are likely to see a continuation of a rising light-heavy spread,” Soozhana Choi, Singapore-based Asia head of commodities research, wrote in a research report today.
Reliance Industries Ltd. plans to halt two fluid catalytic crackers at its refinery in Jamnagar, India, in early February for about a month for maintenance, ICIS reported today citing a person it didn’t identify. The gasoline-producing units have a total capacity of 400,000 barrels of oil a day, ICIS said.
Manoj Warrier, a Reliance spokesman, declined to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News.
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