At least two tankers carrying gasoline-making components have dropped anchor off New York Harbor for nearly a week, unable to discharge their cargoes in the latest sign that storage for the fuel is running out, traders said.
Several tankers with gasoline have also been diverted from the New York region to Florida and the U.S. Gulf Coast in recent days, a rare move that underscores oversupply in the pricing hub for the benchmark U.S. gasoline.
The excess in the midst of summer demand for the motor fuel casts a shadow of the profitability of refineries, and thus their demand for crude oil over the coming months.
U.S. gasoline refining margins dropped last week to their lowest since February at around $13.61 a barrel after gasoline inventories posted an unseasonably large build.
The builds were a result of higher output from U.S. refineries as well as an increase in imports, data from the U.S. Energy Department showed. At the same time, data suggested lower U.S. consumption than previously indicated.
The 74,000 tonne tanker Emerald Shiner, carrying a cargo of alkylite from the west coast of India has been anchored off the New York Coast since June 28, according to Reuters shipping data and traders.
The 37,000 tonne Energy Progress, with a cargo of reformate from Turkey, has similarly been waiting outside New York since June 28.
Furthermore, at least three cargoes of gasoline from Europe, which heavily relies on exports to the U.S. East Coast, have been diverted in recent days from New York Harbor to Florida and the U.S. Gulf Coast, ship tracking showed.
Those include the tankers Energy Patriot, Seasalvia and Ance.
“Tanks are full to the brim in New York Harbor,” a trader said.
Global gasoline stocks have risen steadily in recent months as refiners ran at full steam on expectations of strong demand this summer, particularly in the United States and Asia.
With dropping profits from producing gasoline, refiners are increasingly shifting to making diesel and jet fuel.