Europe is expected to send between 500,000 and 1 million tones of gasoline and middle distillates, including heating oil and diesel, to the U.S. in December, according to oil traders on December 5th.
European refiners will attempt to reduce year-end stocks, ridding themselves of surplus product, and are expected to lower prices to make the excess supplies more attractive.
Gasoline demand has seen a sharp seasonal decline in Europe in the fourth quarter at the same time as refineries have been pushed to their limits to produce sufficient volumes of heating oil.
European traders shipped between 1 and 1.5 million tones of gasoline to the U.S. in November, a period during which U.S. oil companies tend to build stockpiles for the high-demand spring and summer seasons.
Some traders question whether all of the expected European product volumes will reach the U.S. market, as transatlantic freight rates for clean tankers have skyrocketed to their highest levels in several years.
Analysts have suggested that only 500,000 tones will be exported, with refiners storing excess product or reducing runs at their units.