Europe Gasoline/Naphtha-U.S. demand supports prices
LONDON, July 29 (Reuters) - Gasoline cracks held relatively firm on Monday, with anticipation of exports to the United States helping to offset the weakness in European demand. U.S. inventories of gasoline fell by 1.4 million barrels, with a 1.4 million barrel drop reported on the East Coast, the Energy Information Administration reported last week. This has prompted discussion among traders of deals to move products to the United States from Europe, though it remained unclear as to how much would actually move. "A decent number of vessels were talked about, not sure if they will all be fixed," a trader said. In Egypt the new government said it will press ahead with a smart card programme for distributing fuel products its predecessor started before it was ousted by the military. Subsidies of fuel products, which include natural gas and fuel oil as well as gasoline and diesel, for years have been a major drain on the finances of successive governments. They now eat up about a fifth of all state spending. GASOLINE * Two Eurobob gasoline barges traded in the Platts price assessment window at $1,002 and $999 a tonne fob ARA respectively. * Ahead of the window some 4,000 tonnes traded at $998-$1,006 a tonne fob ARA, compared to trades at $998 on Friday. BP, Shell and Trafigura sold the barges to Cargill and Kolmar. * One barge of premium unleaded gasoline traded at $1,017 a tonne fob ARA, up from $1,011 a tonne on Friday. Total bought the barge from Vitol. * By 1530 GMT, Eurobob's crack to dated Brent was at around $10.75 a barrel, down slightly from the $11.13 a barrel on Friday. * ICE Brent crude futures were flat at $104.70 a barrel. * U.S. RBOB gasoline futures in New York were down 0.28 percent at $3.0360 a gallon. The prompt crack was up at $21.19 a barrel. NAPHTHA * One naphtha cargo traded in the window, at $875 a tonne cif NWE, compared to the $875-$876 a tonne range on Friday. * Shell bought a cargo from BP as they did on Friday. * The naphtha crack was a little weaker at around minus $8.85 a barrel compared to $8.61 a barrel on Friday.