Europe Gasoline/Naphtha-Barge prices ease as supplies tighten
LONDON, July 30 (Reuters) - Gasoline barge prices in northwest Europe eased on Tuesday, tracking crude oil declines, although supplies in the region were seen tight despite weak domestic demand. Relatively low stock levels in the ARA hub and a string of refinery maintenance works planned in the region in the coming week have tightened the supply outlook, traders said. At least nine gasoline tankers were booked on the transatlantic route for loading in late July and the first week of August, with one vessel heading to West Africa and three to Mexico and Chile, according to shipping data. Several of the vessels were bound for the New York Harbour, where traders were expecting a pick up in demand following the recent declines in East Coast inventories. The arbitrage to the United States has been limited in recent weeks due to weak demand and a strong rise in prices of renewable blending credits, known as RINs, that have since eased. Premium unleaded barges traded higher than the benchmark Eurobob gasoline, indicating weaker demand in West Africa and the Mediterranean, according to traders. The naphtha market remained balanced to long, with European exports to Asia expected to total around 750,000 tonnes in July. Workers at Libya's largest refinery, the 220,000 barrel per day Ras Lanuf, have been on strike since Monday, though it was unclear what impact the strike would have on product exports. GASOLINE * No benchmark Eurobob gasoline barges traded in the Platts price assessment window, one day after the first two trades in six weeks. * Ahead of the window some 4,000 tonnes traded at $995-$1,001 a tonne fob ARA, down from $998-$1,006 a tonne on Monday. Vitol, BP, Trafigura and Chevron sold to Cargill, Gunvor and Vitol. * One barge of premium unleaded gasoline traded at $994 a tonne fob ARA, down from $1,017 a tonne. Trafigura sold to Kolmar. * By 1550 GMT, Eurobob's crack to dated Brent was at around $10.93 a barrel, down slightly from the $11.19 a barrel on Monday. * ICE Brent crude futures were down 55 cents at $106.90 a barrel. * U.S. RBOB gasoline futures in New York were up 0.04 percent at $3.0136 a gallon. The prompt crack was up slightly at $21.69 a barrel. NAPHTHA * Four naphtha cargoes traded in the window at $869-$873 a tonne cif NWE, down from $875 a tonne. Gunvor, Glencore and BP sold to BP, Shell and Vitol. * The naphtha crack weakened to around minus 9.08 a barrel, according to Reuters calculations.