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Shell Sells French Diesel; Naphtha Supply Surges: Oil Products

Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold a cargo of diesel for delivery to northern France at a lower premium to front-month gasoil on the ICE Futures Europe exchange than the previous trade.

Naphtha inventories held in independent storage at Europe’s oil-trading hub rose to the most in more than four months, according to data from PJK International BV, a researcher in the Netherlands.

Light Products

Gasoline barges traded from $978 to $980 a metric ton in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp area, according to a survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Argus bulletin board. That’s the highest since Nov. 19, data compiled by Bloomberg show, and compares with deals at $976 to $977 yesterday.

BP Plc, Vitol Group and Gunvor Group Ltd. bought the Eurobob grade, to which ethanol is added to make finished fuel. Chevron Corp. and Total SA sold the barges, which typically comprise 1,000 to 2,000 tons.

Gasoline’s crack, or premium to Brent crude, widened to $6.47 a barrel as of 2:28 p.m. local time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker in London. That’s the highest since Oct. 16 and is up from $6.36 the previous session.

Naphtha’s crack, or discount to Brent, widened for a fifth session to $5.91 a barrel, PVM data showed. That’s the biggest loss since Nov. 27. It was at $5.83 yesterday. There were no trades in the cargo market, according to a similar survey of the Platts pricing window.

Stockpiles of naphtha held in the ARA region increased 60 percent to 152,000 tons in the week to today, PJK data show. That was the most since Aug. 23.

Middle Distillates

BP bought the 20,000-ton diesel lot from Shell at $25 a ton more than February gasoil, the Platts survey showed. The cargo was for delivery to Le Havre, France and compares with a Dec. 21 trade to the same port at a $26 premium to the January contract.

In the diesel barge market, Vitol purchased from Glencore International Plc at $21 more than to January gasoil, the survey showed. That’s up from Dec. 31 trades at plus $18 and $19.

Gunvor was the main seller of heating oil barges. Shipments changed hands at discounts of 50 cents to $2 to January futures, compared with minus $2 yesterday. Vitol and Argos Groep BV were the vendors, while Total, Glencore, Shell, Omneo Trading and Phillips 66 bought.

January gasoil declined $7.50, or 0.8 percent, to $935 a ton as of 5:05 p.m. on the ICE exchange. The contract’s discount to February futures, or contango, widened to $2 a ton from $1 yesterday.

Gasoil’s crack shrank to $13.41 a barrel as of 4:30 p.m. versus in $14.37 the previous session. Brent fell 9 cents to $112.38 a barrel on ICE.

Spain’s diesel and gasoline consumption dropped in November from a year earlier, according to Corporacion de Reservas Estrategicas de Productos Petroliferos, or Cores.

Diesel demand decreased 6.6 percent to 1.69 million tons, according to preliminary data posted today on the government agency’s website. Gasoline use declined 7.8 percent to 369,000 tons, the data showed.

Residues

High-sulfur fuel oil changed hands from $598 to $603 a ton, the survey of Platts showed. That compares with $590 to $593.50 yesterday. The low-sulfur grade traded from $619 to $621, versus trades from $604 to $606 on Dec. 31.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

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

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