European gasoline barge and naphtha prices rose on Friday in a quiet market, buoyed by refinery maintenance which is helping to tighten supply, particularly in naphtha, as per Reuters. The gasoline market was sluggish again despite hopes that the summer driving season would provide a pick-up in demand.
The refinery maintenance season has helped reduce supplies of naphtha in Europe. Naphtha is also being supported by demand from USA and Latin America. As a result the naphtha swaps curve is steeply backwardated into May. This is not expected to last, however. As demand from USA and South America is likely to reduce, it could possibly bring down the backwardation by mid-month.