Bloomberg News

Gasoline Crack Advances; Mabanaft to Exit Houston: Oil Products

March 12, 2012

The gasoline crack, or premium to Brent crude, rose to the highest in more than a week. Hedge funds and other money managers raised bullish bets on ICE gasoil by 3,682 contracts in the week ended March 6, data from ICE Futures Europe showed.

Mabanaft GmbH, the oil-trading unit of Marquard & Bahls AG, will exit international business in Houston and Rotterdam and focus on retail fuel and bunker markets, the company said.

Light Products

Gasoline (MOGEEURB) for immediate loading in Amsterdam-Rotterdam- Antwerp was bid at $1,112 and offered at $1,117 a metric ton with no trades, according to a survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That compares with trades on March 9 at $1,118 to $1,124.

“U.S. gasoline demand remains in the doldrums and any tightness in supply could easily be countered by higher gasoline inflows from Europe or rising refinery utilisation in the U.S.,” Vienna-based consultants JBC Energy GmbH said today in an e-mailed report.

The fuel’s crack was at $11.16 a barrel, up from $10.80 on March 9, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a London-based broker. That’s the highest since March 3.

Naphtha’s crack, or discount to Brent, narrowed to $5.44 a barrel from $5.60 in the previous session, PVM data showed.

Middle Distillates

Net-long managed-money bets on ICE gasoil futures and options rose to 82,641 lots last week from 78,959 the week before, according to the ICE report.

The March gasoil contract on the ICE exchange in London expired today at $1,023.50 a ton. That’s down from $1,033.75 in the previous session.

Gasoil for April dropped $14, or 1.4 percent, to $1,022.75 a ton as of 1:05 p.m. London time. The May contract was at $1,024.50.

The gasoil crack, a measure of refining profitability, was little changed at $12.99 a barrel. Brent dropped 1.3 percent to $124.33 a barrel.

Companies

Mabanaft said in a statement on its website that it will end international trading in Houston and Rotterdam because of “significant changes in the market place and the associated incompatibility of this business with the company’s conservative approach to risk-taking.”

Marquard & Bahls, based in Hamburg, will retain its carbon- credit business in Rotterdam and its Singapore trading office, it said. The closely held group earned 112 million euros ($147 million) from operational activities before tax last year, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rupert Rowling in London at rrowling@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net


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