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Northwest European gasoline refining margins rose above $5 a barrel on Monday following a long weekend, buoyed by some tentative signs of a demand recovery.

Traders booked in recent days at least four additional tankers to store around 230,000 tonnes of refined product off the coasts of Asia and Europe, according to shipping data.

At least six gasoline cargoes were booked last week from northwestern Europe with options to go to West Africa, and five with options to go to North America, according to shipping data.

"Some signs of demand recovery are starting to feed through with May departures (from Europe to the United States) already above April's volumes alongside an improvement in prices," Refinitiv analysts said.

Total loadings for May tally up to 290,000 tons so far, already above the historically low 230,000 tons on record for April. Broker information shows Exxon Mobil at the top of the charter board in May with two cargoes so far, while Valero, Shell, BP and Neste are also active on the route with one cargo each, Refinitiv analysts said.

Russian offline primary oil refining capacity is seen declining in June to 1.583 million tonnes from an upwardly revised plan of 4.168 million tonnes expected in May, energy ministry data showed on Friday, as seasonal maintenance comes off its peak.

HSBC Holdings has alleged that Singapore-based Zenrock Commodities Trading Pte Ltd engaged in a series of "highly dishonest transactions" which included using the same oil cargo to obtain loans from at least two different lenders, according to a court document seen by Reuters.

China has issued 28 million tonnes of refined fuel export quotas in the second allotment for this year, little changed from the first batch of 27.99 million tonnes issued last December, according to four sources with knowledge of the matter.

Copyright Reuters, 2020