LONDON: Northwest European gasoline refining margins slipped further on Friday to around $20.70 a barrel on thin export levels to West African markets.
Gasoline refining margins have taken a hit after northwest European shipments on key export routes to the United States and West Africa fell in May to their lowest since June 2020, according to Refinitiv tracking.
Flows on the two routes fell to around 1.38 million tonnes in May from about 2.05 million tonnes in April, Refinitiv tracking shows.
“The reduced flows and muted demand growth both locally and in key export markets have taken a toll on values including narrower refining margins and EBOB-RBOB spreads,” according to Refinitiv analyst Raj Rajendran.
Northwest European gasoline exports to the United States made a strong rally towards the end of May, according to Refinitiv.
But this was not enough to make up for weak exports to West Africa, and gasoline stockpiles held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage area were up slightly in the week to Thursday, to 1.34 million tonnes from 1.32 million tonnes, according to Insights Global’s Lars van Wageningen.
There is some demand for gasoline along the Rhine due to refinery maintenance inland, van Wageningen said.
Nigeria’s main labour union Nigerian Labour Congress plans to go on strike from Wednesday to protest a tripling of fuel prices in the country after new President Bola Tinubu scrapped a costly subsidy.