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Naphtha at Three-Week High; Europe Gasoline Gains: Oil Products

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Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- European naphtha climbed to the highest price in three weeks as Glencore International Plc bought three cargoes. Gasoline advanced to the highest level in more than three months as BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell Plc bought on the barge market.

PKN Orlen SA plans to halt diesel units at its Plock refinery in the second and third quarters, the company said in its 2013 maintenance schedule.

Light Products

Naphtha cargoes changed hands from $945 to $948 a metric ton, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That’s the highest since Jan. 2 and compares with trades at $942 and $943 yesterday.

Vitol Group sold three lots, taking its total to at least 28 shipments this month. Shell also offloaded a cargo and Trafigura Beheer BV was the other buyer.

Naphtha’s crack, or discount to Brent crude, widened for the first time in five sessions, to $6.25 barrel as of 2:04 p.m. London time, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a crude and refined products broker. It was at $5.84 yesterday.

Gasoline in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp oil hub traded from $1,006 to $1,015 a ton, according to a similar survey of the Argus Bulletin Board. That’s the highest since Oct. 17, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Gunvor Group Ltd., Chevron Corp., Vitol and Total SA sold the Eurobob grade, to which ethanol is added before being sold at the pump. Cargill Inc. and Argos Groep BV also bought barges, which usually trade in lots of 1,000 and 2,000 tons.

Gasoline’s crack, or premium to Brent, rose 35 cents to $9.30 a barrel, PVM data showed. That’s the highest level since Oct. 11.

Middle Distillates

Shell sold a 30,000 ton jet fuel cargo to BP at a $87 a ton premium to February gasoil on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London. That’s for delivery to the U.K. and compares with a deal at plus $78 on Jan. 4.

Diesel barges traded at $9 and $10 a ton more than February gasoil, unchanged from yesterday, the survey of Platts showed. That’s the lowest since Dec. 19, 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Vitol bought from BP and OAO Lukoil’s Litasco unit.

Heating oil barges traded at parity to gasoil futures, the Platts survey showed. Deals were done yesterday at parity to the February contract and at plus $1 to the marker.

Argos and Shell sold the fuel. Vitol, BP, Morgan Stanley and Trafigura bought.

Gasoil for February delivery was little changed, rising 50 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $970.25 a ton as of 5:01 p.m. on the ICE exchange. February traded at a premium of $7.50 to the March contract, compared with $9 yesterday, as the market stayed for a second week in backwardation. This structure can signal rising near-term consumption or reduced supply.

Gasoil’s crack narrowed to $16.51 versus $16.96 yesterday. Brent advanced 0.3 percent to $112.70 a barrel.

Residues

High-sulfur fuel oil changed hands from $611 to $612 a ton, the survey of Platts showed. That compares with $608 to $609 in the previous session. The low-sulfur grade traded from $636 to $641 a ton, versus $638 yesterday.

Refineries

The outages at PKN Orlen’s Plock refinery are scheduled to last more than 30 days each, the company said on its website.

Orlen plans to halt a reformer in the Mazeikiu refinery in Lithuania in March for about 45 days, and a diesel unit of the Kralupy refinery in the Czech Republic in September for more than 30 days, the company said.

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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