http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-11-05/european-gasoline-slumps-gasoil-net-longs-decline-oil-products

Bloomberg News

European Gasoline Slumps; Gasoil Net-Longs Decline: Oil Products

November 05, 2012

European gasoline slumped to the lowest in four months as Glencore International Plc sold barges.

Hedge funds and other money managers reduced bullish bets on gasoil to the least in 10 weeks, according to data from the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London.

Light Products

Barges of gasoline for loading in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam- Antwerp hub traded from $921 to $923 a metric ton, according to a Bloomberg survey of traders and brokers monitoring the Argus Bulletin Board. That’s the lowest since June 28 and compares with Nov. 2 trades from $930 to $944.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Trafigura Beheer BV bought the Eurobob grade, to which ethanol is added to make finished fuel. Barges usually comprise 1,000 to 2,000 tons.

The fuel’s crack, or premium to Brent crude, rose to $3.57 a barrel as of 11:11 a.m. local time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a crude and products broker in London. That’s up from $3.32 the previous session.

Naphtha’s crack, or discount to Brent, widened 13 cents to $3.94 a barrel, PVM data showed.

Middle Distillates

Speculative bets that gasoil prices will rise, in futures and options combined, outnumbered short positions by 73,197 contracts in the week ended Oct. 30, the ICE exchange said today in its weekly Commitment of Traders report. That’s down 2,543 lots and is the lowest since Aug. 21.

Gasoil for November delivery fell $1.50, or 0.2 percent, to $923.50 a ton on ICE as of 12:26 p.m. London time. The December contract’s discount to the front month, or backwardation, was stable at $2 from the previous session. That was the least since Sept. 11, excluding expiry day anomalies.

Gasoil’s crack rose to $17.92 a barrel compared with $17.43 at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 2. Brent was little changed at $105.70 a barrel.

Refineries

French oil-refinery employees will strike today to protest the closure of the Petit-Couronne plant in Normandy, as Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg petitions a regional court to delay a decision on its future.

Refinery workers across the country plan to stop work, the Confederation Generale du Travail said in a statement. While the court is due to meet today, Montebourg is seeking more time to examine Libyan interest in the plant after being contacted by the nation’s sovereign wealth fund, he said on RTL radio.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in London at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

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


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