Northwest European gasoline barge margins rose to around $4.40 a barrel on Friday, despite an increase in stocks on both sides of the Atlantic, and as strikes threaten output in France.

US gasoline stocks rose by 3.2 million barrels to 242.5 million barrels last week, Energy Information Administration data showed on Friday. ARA gasoline inventories rose 13% at a time when profitable export routes to the United States remain limited and exports to the Mediterranean and Caribbean fail to provide a strong draw, according to Insights Global.

French oil company Total said its four French refineries – at Donges, Feyzin, Normandie-Gonfreville and Grandpuits – were functioning and producing output, even as a nationwide strike in the country shows no signs of abating. But a spokesman for France's CGT trade union said the CGT's oil section was planning major protests from January 7-10.

Copyright Reuters, 2020