Europe-U.S. Gasoline Shipments Tracked at Four-Year High
European gasoline exports to the U.S. over July, the peak driving season, are tracked at nearly 2 million metric tons on 54 tankers, potentially the highest monthly volumes seen in more than four years.
Surging North American demand and high refining margins in Europe amid a trade dispute in Nigeria that has slowed exports from the continent has pushed the additional gasoline cargoes to the U.S.
European gasoline exports expected to arrive in the U.S. and Puerto Rico this month are so far tracked at 1.974 million tons (16.8 million bbl), up from 1.02 million tons in June and 1.32 million tons tracked in May, according to the OPIS Tanker Tracker.
That's the highest monthly level seen in records going back to January, 2012, according to data from Eurostat, the European Commission's statistics database.
Morgan Stanley is expected to take the largest share of the product to U.S. ports this month -- around 235,000 tons. Other charterers including ExxonMobil, Statoil, Litasco and Valero are taking smaller volumes.
So far 629,000 tons -- around 32% of the total -- is being shipped to New York according to data compiled from brokers, traders and satellite-tracking data.
Cracks reached a four-year high in early July approaching $50/bbl as U.S. gasoline demand in May reached 9.26 million b/d, up 3% over the prior-year period.
The latest available data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) shows the country's gasoline imports surged by 90,000 bbl for the week ending July 7, reaching 851,000 bbl. This is up from 761,000 bbl in the same week a year earlier, EIA figures show.
London-based consultancy Energy Aspects forecasts refining margins for producing gasoline in northwest Europe -- measured as barge cracks against dated Brent -- will average $13.61/bbl throughout 2015 and will average around $13/bbl next year. This is up from an average gasoline crack of $9.42/bbl last year, Energy
Aspects data show.
The consultancy expects regional margins for producing gasoline to average $17/bbl in the July-September period of this year, down slightly from the $18.13/bbl average in the second quarter.
In the first three months of this year, the 28-member bloc exported 2.663 million tons of the light end product, Eurostat data shows. This is down from 2.977 million tons in the January-March period last year.