Europe Gasoline/Naphtha-Bullish U.S. data supports gasoline
LONDON, April 16 (Reuters) - Gasoline barge cracks in northwest Europe slipped slightly on Wednesday but remained near eight-month highs after U.S. inventory data continued to show robust demand and tight stockpiles ahead of the summer driving season. U.S. gasoline stocks fell 154,000 barrels week-on-week, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration. U.S. gasoline demand over the last four weeks was up 4.6 percent from a year ago. Traders said that it looked as if the arbitrage to the United States from Europe was closed on paper at the moment, although it has been open a number of times in the last few weeks. More cargoes were fixed from Europe earlier this week. Low water levels are hampering barge traffic along the Rhine and Danube in Germany. Water levels at Kaub were at 128 cm on Wednesday, well below the 180 cm level at which barges can sail fully loaded. In France, LyondellBasell said it had pulled out of talks to sell its Berre refinery to Monaco-based Sotragem, adding that the bid offered no guarantee that the mothballed plant would restart. Over in the naphtha market, traders said that SABIC was planning maintenance at its Teesside petrochemical plant. The cracker is said to be down from May 10 to June 5, which will reduce European demand for naphtha further. Demand from petrochemical plants is already sluggish as propane remains a cheaper feedstock, with a discount of about $96 a tonne in the prompt market. GASOLINE * Gunvor sold a barge of benchmark Eurobob to Vitol in the Platts price assessment window at $1,024 a tonne fob ARA. This was up from trades at $1,019-$1,021 a tonne on Tuesday. * Some 10,000 tonnes of gasoline traded ahead of the window at $1,021-$1,029 a tonne fob ARA, up from $1,015-$1,019 a tonne on Tuesday. Gunvor, BB Energy and Noble were on the sell side whilst Vitol, Argos and Trafigura were buying. * The early trades came at discounts to the May swap of $2.50-$3 a tonne. By the market close, the May swap was trading at around $1,028.25 a tonne, up from $1,022 a tonne on Tuesday. * Some 3,000 tonnes of premium unleaded gasoline traded at $1,040-$1,042 a tonne fob ARA, up from Tuesday's trades at$1,027-$1,031 a tonne. Total bought the barges from Vitol and Argos. * By 1544 GMT, Eurobob's crack to dated Brent BFO- was at around $12.08 a barrel, slipping from around $12.57 a barrel on Tuesday. * At the same time, Brent crude oil futures were up 46 cents at $109.82 a barrel. * U.S. RBOB gasoline futures in New York were up 0.15 percent at $3.0476 a gallon, and the prompt crack RB-CL1=R was up at $24.79 a barrel. NAPHTHA NAF-C-NWE * No cargoes traded in the afternoon price assessment window. Bids and offers came at $928-$934 a tonne cif NWE, slipping from Tuesday's trade at $933 a tonne. * The naphtha crack swap for April was trading at about minus $4.72 a barrel. (Reporting by Claire Milhench; Editing by Anthony Barker)
DAVOS, Switzerland - Central banks have done their best to rescue the world economy by printing money and politicians must now act fast to enact structural reforms and pro-investment policies to boost growth, central bankers said on Saturday.