(Bloomberg) -- Traders are less willing to pay up to get gasoline right away in New York Harbor, as a flotilla of cargoes from Europe cross the Atlantic, easing supply worries after the biggest refinery on the U.S. East Coast was crippled by a fire.
The premium over futures contracts being paid for reformulated gasoline for delivery next week has fallen by more than 1 cent a gallon since Monday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. August futures are also sinking versus September contracts, further signaling that supply fears are ebbing.
In the first 11 days of July, some 28 tankers have sailed to the Americas from Europe, carrying more than 1 million tons of mostly finished gasoline and components to be blended into finished fuel, according to tanker-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg. That should further boost imports to the East Coast that reached a two-month high last week and bolster inventories that are at the lowest seasonal level since 2012.
“Trade is looking for a lot of imports to come in over the next month,” said Robert Campbell, head of oil products research at Energy Aspects in New York. “Stocks are still low, and a lot of people are looking for opportunities to take a long position I think, but the prospect of a wave of imports is leading people to take a wait-and-see approach for now.”
Demand for prompt delivery of gasoline jumped after the massive fire at Philadelphia Energy Solutions LLC’s refinery, the largest along the East Coast, which prompted the company to announce plans to shut the facility. That was followed by a breakdown in a gasoline-making unit at Irving Oil Ltd.’s St. John refinery in New Brunswick, Canada, which is a key supplier of fuel to New England.
On Wednesday, 314,000 barrels of finished gasoline landed at Boston for Valero Energy Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. from the U.K., data compiled by Bloomberg shows. The same day, 274,000 barrels of the motor fuel from Portugal arrived in Connecticut for Castleton Commodities International LLC, the data shows.
Tropical Storm Barry has had limited impact on Gulf Coast refiners as it heads toward landfall along the Louisiana coast. Just one facility, Phillips 66’s Alliance plant, is shutting so far.
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