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Europe Oil-Product Stocks Drop Below 5-Year Level, IEA Says

March 14 (Bloomberg) -- European oil-product inventories fell below the five-year average in January for the first time since November 2007, the International Energy Agency said.

Middle distillate fuels including diesel and gasoil led the decline, dropping by 6.5 million barrels, the IEA said today in its monthly oil-market report. Demand for diesel and gasoil, which is used in heating, has been “strong,” the IEA said.

European gasoil futures are trading at the highest level for the time of year since at least 2008 on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange. Domestic heating oil stockpiles fell by 3 percentage points to 54 percent full at the end of January, according to the IEA. Germany is Europe’s biggest market for heating oil.

Production of middle distillates in Europe was reduced at the start of the year by disruption at refineries owned by Petroplus Holdings AG after the company filed for insolvency.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rupert Rowling in London at rrowling@bloomberg.net

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

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