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Naphtha Falls as Vitol Sells; ICE Gasoil Climbs: Oil Products

Jan. 10 (Bloomberg) -- European naphtha declined as Vitol Group sold four shipments. Vitol offloaded 11 cargoes since the start of the year, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Gasoline barges rose to the highest in almost three months.

Diesel barge differentials fell as BP Plc sold. Gasoil for February delivery rose to the highest in more than two months on the ICE Futures Europe exchange as temperatures are forecast to drop in Germany, Europe’s biggest market for the fuel.

Light Products

Naphtha cargoes changed hands from $922 to $930 a metric ton, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That compares to $934 on Jan. 8 with no trades done yesterday.

Koch Industries Inc., BP, Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Trafigura bought. Glencore International Plc sold one lot.

Naphtha’s crack, or discount to Brent, widened for the first time in four days to $6.24 a barrel as of 2:18 p.m. local time, the most since Nov. 26, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker in London. That was $5.82 yesterday.

Gasoline barges traded from $987 to $994.50 a ton, the highest since Oct. 19, according to a similar survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Argus bulletin board. The fuel changed hands at $979 to $981 yesterday. Gunvor Group Ltd. and Trafigura both sold and bought. Chevron Corp. also sold while Cargill Inc. bought.

Gasoline’s crack, or premium to Brent crude, rose 25 cents to $7.28 a barrel, the most since Oct. 12, PVM data show.

Middle Distillates

Two diesel cargoes traded at a $1 a ton discount to the Mediterranean benchmark price, the Platts survey showed. That compares a deal yesterday at parity. OAO Lukoil’s Litasco unit sold to Vitol for delivery to Aliaga, Turkey, and Trafigura bought from Repsol SA for delivery to Fiumicino, Italy.

Diesel barges traded from $16 to $19 a ton more than February gasoil versus plus $20.50 to $21.50 in the previous session, the survey of Platts showed. Shell, Glencore, AIC Ltd., BP and Statoil ASA sold and Vitol bought the fuel.

Heating oil barges traded from $1 a ton discount to parity against February gasoil. That compares with deals at parity to January gasoil yesterday, which was the most in almost a month. Mercuria Energy Trading SA and Argos Groep BV sold, and Gunvor, Shell and Vitol bought.

Gasoil for February delivery rose as much as 1.8 percent to $966.25 a ton, the highest intraday level for the contract since Oct. 22, on ICE. It was at $958.25 as of 5:40 p.m. London time. January futures expired at $948.50.

Low temperatures in Frankfurt are forecast to drop to minus 9 degrees Celsius (16 Fahrenheit) on Jan. 16, from 4 degrees today, according to CustomWeather Inc. data on Bloomberg.

Gasoil’s crack, a measure of refining profit, grew to $16.24 a barrel versus $15.78 a barrel at 4:30 p.m. yesterday. Brent advanced 0.6 percent to $112.40 a barrel.

Deliveries on January gasoil fell to 66,300 tons, the lowest in almost a year, according to data from ICE. Low-sulfur deliveries were at 35,600 tons, compared with 10,000 tons in the previous month and 93,400 a year ago, according to the exchange.

Egypt used part of its diesel and butane stockpiles to meet domestic demand as bad weather forced port closures, interrupting fuel imports, the country’s oil minister said.

Residues

High-sulfur fuel oil changed hands from $617.50 to $619 a ton, the survey of Platts showed. That compares with $610 to $611 yesterday.

Refineries

Essar Energy Plc said it will halt a gasoline-producing unit at its Stanlow oil refinery, the U.K.’s largest, for maintenance later this year. Andrew Turpin, a London-based spokesman for Essar, didn’t specify when the residue fluid catalytic cracker would be shut.

The unit has a capacity of 65,000 barrels a day, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

To contact the reporter on this story: Konstantin Rozhnov in London at krozhnov@bloomberg.net

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

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