European gasoline’s premium to Brent crude, or crack, rose to a two-month high amid concern that Petroplus Holding AG’s fuels output may be reduced after lenders froze credit lines. Barges of the fuel also gained.
Gasoil rebounded on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. The front-month gasoil crack climbed.
Gasoline for immediate loading in Amsterdam-Rotterdam- Antwerp traded at $929 a metric ton, according to a Bloomberg survey of brokers monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That’s the most since Nov. 11, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
BP Plc sold to OAO Lukoil’s trading arm and to Cargill Inc. The trades are for Eurobob grade to which ethanol is added to make finished motor fuel.
“The loss of total refining capacity if the Petroplus system shuts down will be too great in our opinion and will support the product cracks,” Olivier Jakob, managing director at Petromatrix GmbH in Switzerland, said today in a note.
Petroplus said yesterday in a statement that about $1 billion in uncommitted loans had been frozen by lenders, adding it was working to maintain its operations. Chief Executive Officer Jean-Paul Vettier wasn’t immediately able to comment when contacted by Bloomberg News earlier today.
Naphtha’s discount to Brent widened to $7.90 a barrel from $7.77 on Dec. 23, PVM data show.
Gasoil for February gained 0.1 percent to $922.25 a ton at 1:54 p.m. London time, according to ICE exchange data. Front- month Brent dropped 1 percent to $108.13 a barrel.
The heating fuel’s crack, a measure of refining profitability, rose to $15.15 a barrel from $14.84 at 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 23, according to ICE data.
Petroplus management are meeting with unions at the Petit Couronne refinery in France today, Laurent Patinier, a representative of the CFDT union, said by phone.
“They are clearly planning to stop the five European refineries,” Patinier said. “When you can’t pay for crude, you have to stop operations.” The company’s five refineries have a combined throughput capacity of about 667,000 barrels a day.
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