* Tankers diverted in mid-Atlantic to Med
* In rare arbitrage, cargoes from Europe into Med
By Ron Bousso
LONDON, Jan 11 At least one tanker carrying
diesel en route to New York has been diverted in the
mid-Atlantic to the Mediterranean, where freezing weather from
North Africa to the Balkans has boosted demand for heating oil
and sharply lifted prices.
At the same time, two 30,000-tonne tankers - the Torm Gyda
and Nord Bell - have been booked by Glencore to go from
northwest Europe to the Mediterranean, according to shipping
data and traders. The vessels were carrying either diesel or
higher-sulphur-content gasoil, traders said.
Maersk Progress, chartered by BP to carry a 110,000-tonne
cargo of diesel from the Reliance refinery in Jamnagar in west
India to New York, was diverted on Tuesday to the Mediterranean,
according to Reuters ship tracking and traders.
A second tanker, the 120,000-tonne SKS Dee chartered by
Trafigura, was also expected to turn in the mid-Atlantic towards
Europe, traders said.
The unusual movements come after prices in the Mediterranean
rose sharply in recent days due to a lack of available supplies
from regional refineries and imports, coupled with cold weather.
Severe weather in the Black Sea has also led to delays in
tanker loadings, further tightening supplies in the
Prices of gasoil and diesel, used in many countries for
heating, have risen in the Mediterranean to their highest in
months. They surpassed rates in northern Europe, opening a rare
The cold spell has also pushed Italy's wholesale day-ahead
gas prices up 50 percent in recent days, prompting suppliers to
step up gas withdrawals from storage.
(Reporting by Ron Bousso; Editing by Dale Hudson)