European gasoline prices eased on Tuesday, dropping away from their highest level this year as the
lack of export opportunities to the United States and a drop in crude futures weighed on prices. The market took some support from lower stockpiles of the motor fuel in Europe, as refiners continue to restrict output due to the drop off in demand during the recession, while traders were also eyeing exports to West Africa.
If the arbitrage to the United States is going to reopen,either prices are going to have to rally there, or we're going to have to see prices come down in Europe, one broker said. Given U.S. stocks are pretty high right now, and the driving season is coming to an end, I'd say the latter is more
* Premium unleaded 10ppm gasoline barges traded at $715-$721 a tonne fob ARA at the close, down from as high as $738 on Monday and initial trading on Tuesday.
* The crack to dated Brent BFO- rose to $13.25 a barrel from $12.50.
* Brent crude futures were down $1.10 at $72.40 by 1635 GMT. [O/R]
* U.S. RBOB gasoline futures RBc1 slipped slightly to $2.02 a gallon.
* Gasoline barge swaps for August fell to $706 a tonne fob ARA from $711.25 a tonne at Monday's close.
* The front month swap is now well below the 10-month high of $717.50 reached on August 3.
* September traded at $684 while October was down to $657.50. Traders said the switch from winter to summer specification gasoline in Europe and the United States was
influencing the size of the spread.
* Traders also see prices struggling to continue at current levels, with the U.S. arbitrage currently negative.
RUN CUTS, EXPORTS [REF/E] [REF/OUT]
* European stocks of gasoline fell to 118.75 million barrels at the end of July, down around 1 percent year-on-year, industry monitors Euroilstock said on Tuesday.
* Demand from Nigeria has provided the main support for prices in Europe, with the West African nation awarding a buy tender last week for more than 60 cargoes.