Gasoline Firmer, Diesel Weaker on Supply
Gasoline barge swaps in northwest Europe strengthened over the week to Tuesday on the back of tighter supply and robust demand from overseas markets, but diesel swaps weakened as supply increased.
Gasoline barge swaps were supported by falling inventories in the United States and Europe at a time of rising demand.
"Low gasoline stocks are undoubtedly a key factor in gasoline's current strength, and any indication of further draws from the API and the EIA could keep the complex underpinned," analysts at JBC Energy said in a note.
Some analysts believe it will be difficult for U.S. refiners to replenish gasoline stockpiles adequately before the summer driving season officially starts on the Memorial Day weekend at the end of May.
Diesel and gasoil swap differentials fell on the week, with ample supply and relatively muted demand weighing on prices, traders said.
More imports into the region and the completion of refinery maintenance have increased supply before the onset of driving season has pushed up demand.
Gasoil stocks independently held at Europe's Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) hub rose 11.4 percent to 1.573 million tonnes in the week to Thursday, data from Dutch oil analyst Pieter Kulsen showed. "Russia is exporting more, and there is the end of maintenance in Europe," a trader said.
- The April gasoline barge swap was trading at around $1,033.56 a tonne fob ARA on Tuesday, up from last Monday's $1,024.32 a tonne. The May swap was trading at $1,032.97 a tonne fob ARA, up from $1,022.01 a tonne last week.
- The April barge crack swap was at around $13.70 a barrel, down from last Monday's $14.25 a barrel. The May crack swap was trading at around $13.95 a barrel, slipping slightly from last week's $14.08 a barrel.
- The April cargo swap was quoted at $931.12 a tonne cif NWE, almost unchanged from last week's $930.41 a tonne. The May swap was trading at about $922.17 a tonne cif NWE, up from $914.16 a tonne last Monday.
- The April naphtha crack swap was at minus $4.71 a barrel, weakening from minus $3.03 a barrel last Monday. The May crack swap was trading at minus $5.56 a barrel, dropping from last week's minus $4.75 a barrel.
- The East-West spread for May widened out to $16.50 a tonne, from around $14 a tonne last week. The June spread was also at $16.50 a tonne.
- The May ICE gasoil futures contract was down $4.25 at $923.25 a tonne by 1236 GMT with the May-June gasoil contracts <LGO-1=R> in a backwardation of $2.25 a tonne.
- The April gasoil barge swap was at $922.88 a tonne fob ARA, up from $903.13 a tonne last week. The May swap traded at $921.56 a tonne fob ARA, compared with $901.43 last week.
- The May diesel barge differential swap was at $15.20 a tonne fob ARA over ICE gasoil futures, down from a premium of $16.75 a tonne last week.
- The May diesel cargo differential swap was at around $18.50 a tonne cif NWE, compared with $19.50 a tonne a week ago. The June swap was at around $18.80 a tonne.
- The May jet fuel cargo differential swap was at $44.48 a tonne cif NWE, up from $32.80 a tonne last week.
- The premium on fuel oil with 1 percent sulphur content over fuel oil with 3.5 percent sulphur, known as the hilo, was at about $44.09 for May, up from $37.64 a tonne last week.
- The hilo for June was at about $41.37.
(Reporting by Claire Milhench and Simon Falush; additional reporting by Ron Bousso, editing by David Evans)