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European gasoline exports pick up in August

  • Market: Oil products
  • 18/09/23

European gasoline exports rose on the month in August, despite export volumes to the top three destinations in July and August — US, Canada and Nigeria — all falling.

A total of around 4.45mn t of gasoline departed from Europe in August, according to Vortexa data, up by around 6pc on the month and 5pc on the year. While total export volumes were higher, exports to the US, Canada and Nigeria — the top three outlets in July — fell in August. Exports to Brazil and Libya increased, which supported overall volumes.

Exports to the US totalled 1.3mn t, down from around 1.64mn t last month — a 20.7pc drop — but were up from 1.13mn t in August last year, marking a 15pc rise.

Arbitrage economics were closed on paper throughout August, which could have weighed on flows. The premium of second-month Rbob futures to front month Eurobob swaps, including the cost of freight and renewable volume obligations, averaged -$15.25/bl in August. Even so, physical cargoes continued to flow across the Atlantic, and participants noted that while economics were poor, low stock levels in the US and steep backwardation in Europe — which makes storage economically unattractive — could have encouraged traders to send cargoes to the US rather than keep the product in storage in Europe.

Canada was Europe's second largest outlet for the second consecutive month, but export volumes were down by 9pc on the month, but up by 9pc on the year at 426,000t. Canada typically looks towards Europe in the summer to meet increased driving demand, and could continue to look eastwards to Europe with the 320,000 b/d Saint John refinery scheduled for a major turnaround from mid-September to November.

Nigeria remained the third largest outlet for European gasoline in August, but exports to the country were down by 13pc on the month and by 47pc on the year to 358,000t, the lowest volume since May 2020. Demand has waned in the country since February, following presidential elections, and fell dramatically following the removal of the gasoline subsidy in May, when pump prices rose sharply. Available data from the downstream regulator NMDPRA showed that consumption for the period 1-20 August averaged 44.4mn litres, compared with around 67mn l before the subsidy was withdrawn.

While exports to the top three locations were lower on the month, shipments to Brazil and Libya supported the volume of gasoline exported from European ports.

Exports to Brazil totalled 310,000t, up from 143,000t in July, as firm domestic demand supported the flow of material to the country over the month. Libya was the fifth largest destination for European gasoline in August, receiving around 297,000t, up from 229,000t last month.


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