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Diesel at Five-Month Low; French Refinery to Halt: Oil Products

European diesel barges traded at the lowest premium in more than five months as BP Plc sold for the second day, accounting for 14 lots so far.

The 154,000 barrel-a-day Petit-Couronne refinery in France, formerly owned by insolvent refiner Petroplus Holdings AG, will shut on Dec. 10, according to a union official.

Light Products

Naphtha traded at $931 a metric ton, according to a survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That’s down from $948 and $950 yesterday. Trafigura Beheer BV purchased the 12,500 ton shipment from BASF SE.

Naphtha’s crack, or discount to Brent crude, widened to $5.62 a barrel as of 2:02 p.m. local time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a crude and products broker in London. That compares with $4.99 yesterday.

Gasoline for immediate loading in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub traded from $953 to $957 a ton, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That compares with trades from $967 to $973 yesterday.

Gunvor Group Ltd. purchased two lots of Eurobob grade, to which ethanol is added to make the finished fuel. Chevron Corp. was a seller of barges, which usually comprise 1,000 to 2,000 tons. Trafigura both bought and sold.

The fuel’s crack, or premium to Brent, snapped six days of gains to fall 34 cents to $4.40 a barrel, PVM data showed.

Middle Distillates

Diesel barges traded at premiums of $20.50 to $23 a ton to December gasoil on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London, according to the survey of Platts. That compares with $21.50 and $22 yesterday and is the lowest since June 20. Another consignment changed hands at parity with low-sulfur futures.

AIC Ltd., OAO Lukoil’s Litasco unit, North Sea Group and Mercuria Energy Trading SA bought the barges from BP.

A jet fuel barge traded at $77 more than December gasoil. That’s within the $76 to $78 range in the previous session. Lufthansa AG sold to Royal Dutch Shell Plc.

Heating oil barge deals were concluded at discounts of $1 to $1.50 a ton to December gasoil. The product traded at minus 75 cents to $1.50 yesterday. Vitol Group was the main seller and Total SA was the most active buyer. One lot of low-sulfur gasoil changed hands from BP to Shell at a $21 premium.

Gasoil for December delivery declined $16.75, or 1.8 percent, to $933 a ton on the ICE exchange as of 5:07 p.m. London time. The January contract was at $936.

The market has been in a contango for 17 days, the longest stretch since a run that ended on Aug. 4, 2011. A contango structure usually signals reduced prompt demand or rising supply of fuel for immediate delivery.

January futures have support at $930.50 a ton after prices failed to sustain gains above $962 a ton yesterday, Liam Roberts, an analyst at Ltd., a researcher in Billericay, England, said in a note today.

The contract made a so-called bearish shooting star pattern on a candlestick chart yesterday, according to Futurestech. The formation occurs when a security that has been rising has an opening price, intraday low and close below the session’s high.

Gasoil’s crack fell to $16 a barrel as of 4:30 p.m., compared with $16.68 yesterday. Brent declined 1.2 percent to $109.62 a barrel.


High-sulfur fuel oil changed hands from $576.50 to $580.50 a ton, according to the survey of Platts. That compares with $580.75 to $584 in the previous session. The lower-sulfur grade traded at $604 a ton, versus $608 to $609 yesterday.


The Petit-Couronne plant in Normandy will be idled from Dec. 10 to about Dec. 16 while administrators evaluate bids for the site, Laurent Patinier, an official for the CFDT union, said by phone from the site today.

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