New York: August 17, 2011
New York Harbor cash RBOB tumbled nearly 4 cents/gal August 17 amid signs that buying interest is fading fast, market sources said. Cash RBOB was assessed at 4.7 cents/gal after a 25,000-barrel offer from Hess for Buckeye Pipeline supply shipped during August 20-22 at plus 5 cents/gal during the Platts Market On Close assessment process.
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No trades were reported done. On August 16, this grade was assessed at plus 8.15 cents/gal for barge supply and plus 8.2 cents/gal for Buckeye supply.
CBOB grade 328 also fell, but its decline paled in comparison to cash RBOB. This grade was assessed at plus 1.30 cents/gal, compared with plus 2.25 cents/gal on August 16.
There were a "few offers ... not many bid. [Its just a] lack of buyers the past couple days," said a source. Traders "don't want to pay the big differentials when F2 [RBOB] fades into the sunset in less than 30 days," said the source, referring to the seasonal transition to the use of higher RVP gasoline.
In the summer, only low RVP gasolines are used. According to sources, concerns that supplies would be tight in the medium term seem to have dissipated in the face of reports that most area refineries have been coming out of planned and unplanned maintenance.
This was despite data from the US Energy Information Administration that showed total motor gasoline stocks on the US Atlantic Coast fell some 394,000 barrels in the week that ended August 12 to 55.044 million barrels.
However, the critical Central Atlantic region, which is home to the New York Harbor market, saw total gasoline stocks rise to 26.190 million barrels for the week that ended August 12 from 25.949 million barrels seven days earlier.
Imports into the USAC declined for the second consecutive week, confirming widespread talk that cargo suppliers, particularly from across the Atlantic, have been moving barrels to other more profitable regions. "We have zero coming to US," said one cargo player.
Most traders said they have recently seen a rise in the number of ships fixed to transport gasoline from across the Atlantic, but noted that those were heading for West Africa or even South America. For the week that ended August 12, imports fell, albeit a marginal 27,000 b/d to 568,000 b/d.
Next market commentary: Gulf Coast Gasoline, August 17