Vitol Sells More Naphtha; ICE Gasoil Gains on Cold: Oil Products

Vitol Group sold more cargoes of naphtha in Europe, bringing its total to at least 14 shipments this month.

Gasoil rose for the fourth time in six sessions on the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London as freezing temperatures were forecast to spread across the continent.

Light Products

Statoil ASA and BP Plc bought naphtha cargoes from Vitol at $904 a metric ton, according to a survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Platts pricing window. That compares with a trade on Jan. 11 at $888, the lowest in five months.

Shipments of naphtha from Europe to Asia in January rose to 11 cargoes from eight a week earlier, shipping data show.

About 855,000 tons of the feedstock are scheduled to load this month compared with 640,000 tons last week, according to data from shipbrokers including Galbraith’s Ltd. Some fixtures are provisional and may be changed or canceled.

Naphtha’s crack, or discount to Brent crude, narrowed to $8.16 a barrel, as of 1:31 p.m. local time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker in London. It was at $8.73 in the previous session, which was the biggest loss in more than five months.

Gasoline barges in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp oil hub traded from $967 to $973 a ton, according to a survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Argus bulletin Board and Platts. That compares with deals from $964 to $979 on Jan. 11.

Cargill Inc. and Trafigura Beheer BV bought the Eurobob grade, to which ethanol is added to make finished fuel. Gunvor Group Ltd. and Total SA sold the barges, which typically comprise 1,000 to 2,000 tons.

Gasoline’s crack, or premium to Brent, shrank 10 cents to $7.08 a barrel, PVM data showed. That compares with $7.18 a barrel on Jan. 11 and is the lowest in more than a week.

Middle Distillates

Diesel barges traded at $16 a ton more than February gasoil, unchanged from Jan. 11, the survey of Platts showed. Vitol bought from Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Belgomine NV.

AIC Ltd. sold a low-sulfur heating oil barge to DS Mineraloel GmbH at $14.50 a ton more than February futures, declining from $15 and $15.75 on Jan. 11.

Gasoil for February delivery rose 1.6 percent to $954.50 a ton as of 5:12 p.m. London time on ICE. The contract’s backwardation, or premium to March futures, grew to $7.75 a ton, compared with $5.25 in the previous session. The market structure can signal rising near-term demand or falling supply.

Temperatures in Frankfurt are forecast to drop to minus 8 degrees Celsius (18 Fahrenheit) on Jan. 19 from minus 3 today, according to data from CustomWeather Inc. Germany is Europe’s largest heating oil market. A cold snap is also predicted for London, Paris and Amsterdam this week, according to weather forecasts compiled by Bloomberg.

Money managers increased bullish bets on gasoil to the highest in five weeks, according to data from the ICE exchange. Speculative bets that gasoil prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 56,871 contracts in the week to Jan. 8, compared with 52,895 the previous week, the ICE data showed.

Gasoil’s crack, a measure of refining profit, grew to $17.10 a barrel at 4:30 p.m. versus $16.02 on Jan. 11. Brent rose 0.3 percent to $110.99 a barrel.


High-sulfur fuel oil changed hands from $603 to $604 a ton, the survey of Platts showed. That compares with $599 to $599.50 the previous session. The low-sulfur grade traded at $633 to $634, versus $630 on Jan. 11.


A fire was extinguished at Essar Energy Plc’s 296,000 barrel-a-day Stanlow refinery, the U.K.’s largest, on Jan. 12, Cheshire West & Chester Council said a statement on its website.

Essar said in a separate e-mail that the fire occurred in a furnace of a secondary unit, without specifying the unit.

Sonatrach, Algeria’s state-run energy producer, said the upgrade of its 353,000 barrel-a-day Skikda refinery is almost complete and a fire this month hadn’t caused any damage.

The Jan. 3 fire in one of the facility’s gasoline units didn’t disrupt supply, Communications Director Abderrahmane Ghazal said today by phone from Algiers.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.