Europe Refiners’ Gasoline Profit at 10-Month High on Exports

European refiners are making the highest profit from gasoline in more than 10 months amid speculation that demand is rising to ship the motor fuel to West Africa, the U.S. and Latin America

Gasoline’s crack, or premium to Brent crude, rose to $13.46 a barrel on Tuesday, the highest since April 29, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd, one of the largest brokers for the fuel, before falling to $13.13 at 1:21pm London time. The flow of ships carrying oil products to New York from Rotterdam climbed to the highest in nine months, a Bloomberg survey of shipbrokers showed.

“Exports have been supporting Europe with good demand to West Africa, particularly Nigeria, as well as to the U.S. and Latin America,” Olivier Jakob, managing director of Zug, Switzerland-based Petromatrix, said by phone. “The refinery maintenance period is coming up which is likely to provide further support.”

Europe produces more gasoline than it consumes and relies on export demand to offload the surplus. Traders booked tankers with the capacity to haul about 7.3 million metric tons of refined fuels to West Africa from Europe so far this year, according to lists of charters compiled by Bloomberg. That compares with 4.6 million tons in the first quarter of 2014.

A total of 22 tanker charters have been completed or anticipated for the Rotterdam-to-New York voyage in the next two weeks, the highest since June 4, the Bloomberg survey showed. Gasoline cargoes have left Europe bound for Mexico and Togo in recent weeks, according to researcher PJK International BV.

In the U.S., gasoline demand averaged 8.7 million barrels a day in the four weeks to March 6, Energy Information Administration data showed Wednesday. That’s the highest by that measure for the time of year since 2011.

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