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Europe Gasoline/Naphtha-Cracks rise on refinery cuts, remain negative

LONDON, March 20 (Reuters) - Northwestern European gasoline refining margins rose on Friday but remained in negative territory as refiners across the world started to trim output in the face of weak demand. * Oil refiners are reducing output or considering production cuts as the coronavirus outbreak keeps people at home and paralyses air travel, causing an unprecedented drop in fuel demand. * In Britain, INEOS shut down a 35,000 bpd crude unit at its 200,000 bpd Grangemouth refinery on March 17, according to industry monitor Genscape. * A source familiar with the plant's operations said the shutdown was related to declining profit margins for fuels produced at a refinery, including aviation and motor fuels. * Oil major BP shut down a 70,000 bpd crude unit at its Gelsenkirchen (Scholven) oil refinery in Germany on March 18, Genscape said. * BP declined to comment. But two trading sources said the shutdown was an economic run cut. * Gasoline stocks held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage hub were down 1.25% to 1.1 million tonnes, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed. * Saudi Aramco will continue reducing operations at its local refineries in April and May to boost the state energy company’s potential to export crude oil, a company official said on Thursday. * Japanese refiners may need to cut run rates to meet falling fuel demand because of the spreading coronavirus outbreak, the head of the Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ) said on Thursday. Gasoline (in tonnes) Trades Bids Offers Prev. Sellers Buyers (vol.) Trades Ebob Barges MOC Platts E5 (fob ARA) <EUROBO B-ARA> Ebob Barges $179 E10 Platts( fob ARA) Ebob $180 Barges (2Kt) Argus E5(fob AR) Ebob $199 $170 Finco Hartre Barges (2Kt) e E10 Argus (fob AR) April $201.50 swap $208.50 fob ARA Premium Unleade $194 d (fob ARA) <PU-10P P-ARA> Cargoes April (fob -$10 MED) Cargoes (cif NWE) Naphtha $183 (cif NWE) <NAF-C- NWE> Ebob crack (per barrel) -$4.305 prev. -$3.238 Brent futures Rbob Rbob crack <RBc1-CLc1> (Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)