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Europe Gasoline-Soars to 2009 high on refinery outages, cuts
UPDATE : 2009/8/4 14:15:16  CLICK : 1540

LONDON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - European gasoline soared to a new 2009 high near $730 a tonne on Monday, jumping by $40 as a spate of refinery outages and cuts helped extend a rally sparked by a big move up in crude and product futures.

French oil major Total (TOTF.PA) is currently cutting refining runs due to poor demand, and the firm plans further cuts in September as it looks to carry out maintenance at its Gonfreville plant.

The European market was already relatively tight, traders said, with inventories of the motor fuel falling and summer maintenance underway in the Mediterranean. 

"The refinery cuts have just seen the cash market run away today," one broker said. "Traders in the U.S. keep trying to run up the price to open the arbitrage, but the jump in Europe just keeps slamming the door shut again." Prices on European gasoline barges have risen by more than $100 a tonne since last Wednesday.
  
PRICES

* Premium unleaded 10ppm gasoline barges traded at $725-$729 a tonne fob ARA at the close, from around $689 late on Friday.

* Naphtha hit $601 for the first time since last October, up from around $590 on Thursday.

* Volume of gasoline trade was relatively thin with around 8,000 tonnes changing hands. BP and Vitol were the main buyers.

* The crack to dated Brent BFO- rose to $13.50 from $12.15 a barrel, despite Brent crude futures LCOc1 hitting a new 2009 high of $73.75 a tonne.

* Brent crude futures were up $1.96 at $73.66 by 1703 GMT.

* U.S. RBOB gasoline futures RBc1 rose 3 percent to $2.07 a gallon.
 
EXPORTS

* Planned maintenance work at refineries in Europe's main export market is likely to be light this year due to limited funds, but runs will still be crimped by poor margins.

* Iran is seen holding gasoline exports steady in August from July levels.

GASOLINE/NAPHTHA SWAPS

* Gasoline swaps leapt at the front of the curve. August wasat $717.50, with September more than $20 lower. October was down at $668.50 a tonne.

* The spread between August and September was just $15 a tonne on Thursday.

* Crack spreads for the fourth quarter were discussed at $4.40 a barrel from $3.70 on Friday.

(Reporting by David Sheppard, Editing by Ikuko Kurahone and Peter Blackburn)

 
 
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