Gasoline prices and market activity gathered steam in Europe on improved liquidity amid rallying oil prices and the start of a new month, as per Reuters.
Barges prices rose to as high as $870 a tonne fob ARA during the window in the afternoon, just below 28 month highs of US$871/ton FOB ARA, less than a fortnight ago. About 26,000 tons of gasoline traded in a busy morning, as three rare high-octane barges changed hands on Tuesday afternoon at US$894-$895/ton FOB ARA. But the increased liquidity was not extraordinary after an exceptionally quiet January.
Fear that unrest in Egypt may disrupt Suez Canal shipping was the main driver behind the rise in prices. Major problems were reported at the ports of Alexandria and Damietta in Egypt, as staff shortages hindered cargo operations at the Mediterranean terminals. Germany’s river Rhine was partly opened again, with the key commodities shipping route expected to remain open all day for southbound sailings. Ongoing work to rescue a capsized tanker had led to closure of the river to shipping on Monday, and over 450 vessels were reportedly waiting to sail on Tuesday morning. European naphtha demand remained lacklustre despite hopes the opening of arbitrage would boost shipments to the east.