LONDON, Sept 7 (Reuters) - U.S. imports of gasoline and blending components from Europe and the Baltics are expected to hit about half a million tonnes this week, the highest since late May, preliminary Vortexa data showed, as Hurricane Ida slashed refinery processing in the U.S. Gulf energy hub.
Imports along the route in the week ending Sept. 5 reached around 426,000 tonnes, data from the oil analytics firm showed.
The sharp increase in flows is to a large extent due to the production outages that Hurricane Ida caused when it hit the Gulf of Mexico region about a week ago.
Five refineries in Louisiana remained shut on Monday, accounting for about 1 million barrels-per-day of refinery capacity, or about 6% of the total U.S. operable refining capacity, the Department of Energy said.
Three refineries in the Baton Rouge area and one near New Orleans have begun to restart, accounting for 1.3 million bpd of refining capacity, the DOE said.
However, the refiners will not produce at full rates for several days.
European gasoline barge profit margins
U.S. European Gasoline Imports Spike on Ida Outageshttps://tmsnrt.rs/3jPoz2Q
(Reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise)
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