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Europe Gasoline/Naphtha-Cracks rise above $9/bbl as crude prices tumble

Northwest European gasoline refining margins rose to around $9 a barrel on Friday in thin trade as crude oil prices took a tumble, with benchmark Brent contracts falling below $85 a barrel.

Trading activity was muted with Glencore and Gunvor selling only 5,000 metric tons of E5 barges to Mabanaft, Exxon and Varo.

Gasoline stocks held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage hub rose by 2.5% in the week to Thursday, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed.

Gasoline stocks stood at 1.44 million metric tons and rose on slower exports to West Africa, even as higher demand from Germany which is experiencing refinery maintenance shutdowns pulled product inland, Insight Global Lars van Wageningen said.

U.S. gasoline stocks USOILG=ECI rose by 0.1 million barrels in the week to 223.5 million barrels, official data from the EIA showed, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 0.8 million-barrel drop.

Belgium’s environment and energy ministries are planning to submit draft legislation to tighten the quality of exported fuels, its officials told Reuters, mirroring a similar move by the Netherlands earlier this year.

Northwest European exports to West Africa jumped to 964,000 metric tons in October, up from 726,000 mt in September and are pencilled in for 708,000 mt in November so far, according to LSEG data.

Nigeria’s state oil firm NNPC Ltd will supply the new 650,000 barrel-per-day Dangote oil refinery with up to six cargoes of crude oil in December to be used in test runs, three industry sources with knowledge of the matter said.

Shipments from northwest Europe to the U.S. eased to 521,000 tons in October from 757,000 tons in September and are pencilled in at 566,000 mt for November so far, according to LSEG data.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; editing by David Evans)

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