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Vitol Buys Naphtha; Gasoil Drops to Two-Week Low: Oil Products

March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Vitol Group bought a cargo of naphtha for delivery into northwest Europe. At least 24,000 metric tons traded on the gasoline barge market.

Gasoil for April fell to its lowest price in two weeks on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Light Products

Trafigura Beheer BV sold naphtha for a second day, selling a 12,500-ton cargo to Vitol, a survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Platts pricing window showed. The deal was carried out at $1,046 a ton, less than yesterday’s trade at $1,058.

Naphtha’s discount to Brent increased 17 cents to $5.79 a barrel, PVM data show. That’s the widest since March 13.

Gasoline for immediate delivery in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp area traded from $1,000 to $1,112 a ton, according to a survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That compares with yesterday’s range of $1,106 to $1,125 a ton.

Morgan Stanley was the main buyer for a second day with at least 16,000 tons. Cargill Inc. and Trafigura also purchased barge lots, mostly of about 1,000 tons.

Total SA sold the Eurobob grade, to which ethanol is added to make finished motor fuel, for a second day.

The front-month gasoline crack fell to $13.25 a barrel as of 5:24 p.m. in London, down from $13.59 yesterday, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based crude and refined-products broker.

Middle Distillates

Gasoil for April delivery declined for a third day, falling 1.4 percent to $1,012 a ton on the ICE exchange as of 5:25 p.m. London time. That’s the lowest since March 7.

The May contract traded at $1,012.50 a ton, leaving that contract’s premium to April futures unchanged at 50 cents.

Barges of heating oil were unchanged, trading at a discount of $4 a ton to April futures, the survey showed. Vitol sold 4,000 tons of the product to Mercuria Energy Trading SA.

Gasoil’s crack, a measure of refining profitability, dropped to $13.61 a barrel at 4:30 p.m. London time. That’s down from $13.74 yesterday. Brent crude decreased 1.1 percent to $122.79 a barrel.

Diesel barges were little changed with deals at premiums of $16.50 to $17 a ton to April gasoil, the survey showed.

Residues

High-sulfur fuel oil traded lower at $691 to $694.50 a ton, the survey of Platts showed. That’s down from yesterday’s deals at $697 to $701.

Refineries

Galp Energia SGPS SA, Portugal’s biggest oil company, said its two refineries haven’t been affected by strikes against austerity measures.

“Both of our refineries are operating normally,” Pedro Marques Pereira, a company spokesman, said today by phone from Lisbon.

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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