Naphtha firms as supplies in Europe dwindle, while gasoline rises

Naphtha prices firmed as supplies in Europe dwindled, while barges of European gasoline in northwest Europe rose on Friday as the market looked to the summer driving season, as per Reuters. Gasoline and naphtha refining margins strengthened on the back of the refined products price increase, whilst Brent retreated on the day. The uplift in price was driven more by the anticipated switch to the more expensive summer grade of gasoline at the end of the month. Although traders are looking to the summer driving season in the United States, it is difficult to sell European gasoline to the U.S. at the moment as U.S. feedstock is so cheap. This is due to continued high inventories at the key delivery point Cushing, Oklahoma. Naphtha is beginning to recover from its stubborn trough as supplies have dwindled in Europe due to a combination of lack of Libyan supply, refinery maintenance in Europe, and delays to naphtha imports from Russia due to the ice in the Baltic.
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