Europe gasoline margins tighten as naphtha prices rise

05 November 2010 17:59  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European gasoline margins narrowed on the back of naphtha prices driven up by the recent spike in crude oil futures, market sources said on Friday.

As crude oil prices reached two-year highs on Friday, many refinery products were affected.

As oil futures pushed naphtha prices up, gasoline margins were squeezed, which in turn depressed demand for components such as methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE).

Naphtha prices on Friday afternoon were at two-year highs of around $789/tonne (€552.3/tonne) CIF (cost, insurance & freight) NWE (northwest Europe), compared with $780/tonne on Wednesday.

Gasoline barge prices on Friday afternoon were at $761-778/tonne FOB (free on board) ARA (Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp), up from $738-754/tonne on Monday.

On crude oil futures, at GMT 16:30, December Brent was trading at around $87.59/bbl, down $0.41/bbl from the previous close of $88.00/bbl, having hit a high of $88.80/bbl, up $0.88/bbl earlier in the day.

At the same time, December WTI was trading at $86.34/bbl, down $0.15/bbl from the previous close of $86.49/bbl, having earlier hit a high of $87.22/bbl, up $0.73/bbl.

($1 = €0.70)

Giovanni Coiro contributed to this article

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