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Europe Distillates-Diesel cracks ease, Russian ban limits losses

Northwest European diesel barge refining margins eased to about $37.4 a barrel on Friday as buying activity slowed down, but a Russia ban on fuel exports limited further losses.

Russian oil pipeline company Transneft has stopped export shipments of diesel fuel from the Primorsk and Novorossiysk ports, the TASS news agency cited the company as saying on Friday.

Russia on Thursday temporarily banned exports of gasoline and diesel to all countries outside a circle of four ex-Soviet states with immediate effect in order to stabilise the domestic market, the government said on Thursday.

Gasoil stocks held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage hub rose by about 0.6% in the week to Thursday on higher imports, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed.

Gasoil stocks rose to about 1.91 million metric tons amid rising imports from the Mideast Gulf and the United States and even as demand down the Rhine river strengthened, said Insights Global’s Lars van Wageningen.

Shell SHEL.L is tentatively expected to restart a hydrocracking unit at Europe’s biggest oil refinery in the Netherlands by Sept. 25 after a leak forced its shutdown on Tuesday, traders said, citing a report from industry monitor IIR.

The industry monitor said the Pernis refinery was forced to shut down the 25,000 barrel per day De-Asphalted Oil (DAO) hydrocracker due to a leak.

Diesel imports from the Middle East and India into Europe rose sharply in September as arbitrage economics improved, LSEG analyst Raj Rajendran said.

Global shipments into the region were set to reach around 5.42 million tons so far in September, compared with a total of 5.1 million tons last month, Rajendran said.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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