LONDON, July 25 (Reuters) - Gasoline refining margins slid further on Wednesday, as the lack of demand from the U.S. and other regions, coupled with high refining runs weighed on the market.
Gasoline refining margins have dropped steadily this month, falling from over $19 a barrel in the first week of July to below $11 a barrel this week.
The swing lower has been attributed by traders to a combination of factors, including less demand from the region's traditional export markets and a technical correction after margins were pushed higher by steep losses in Brent in June.
On the supply-side, refining rates have picked up in Europe and the U.S., boosting output either side of the Atlantic.
The U.S. has been buying less gasoline from Europe than traders had hoped, with the arbitrage window remaining shut for much of the driving season, when demand usually peaks. U.S. gasoline demand was down 3.2 percent from year-ago levels, U.S. government figures showed on Wednesday.
In addition, less gasoline is being sold to Nigeria where a probe into a corrupt subsidy scheme and lack of funds to pay for further deliveries is deterring firms from importing motor fuel.
Shortages are already causing long queues at the pump in some parts of the country.
Nigeria's state-oil company said on Wednesday it was owed $7 billion in government fuel import subsidies, more than the sum held in Nigeria's Excess Crude Account (ECA). And the state oil firm is just one of a string of importers who need to be paid.
Two fuel import unions have threatened to strike this week over unpaid subsidies, while the state oil firm said NNPC said it had 46 days of fuel supplies and it would do its best to meet demand despite "limited resources."
Nigeria would have to act fast to resolve the problem, traders said, because it takes almost three weeks to deliver a cargo of gasoline from northern Europe, and the remaining fuel suppliers were lower than indicated by the government.
"Our calculation is 28 days," said another gasoline trader, commenting on gasoline reserves in Nigeria.
* No barge of benchmark Eurobob traded in the window. Ahead of the slot, prices fell from $960 to $942 a tonne fob ARA, well below prices of $967 a tonne fob ARA on Tuesday.
* The volume-weighted average was $952.44 a tonne, a broker said. BP sold all of the barges to Gunvor, Statoil, Shell and Cargill.
* Eurobob's crack to dated Brent BFO- was at around $10.48 a barrel at 1642 GMT on Wednesday, down from $11.95 a barrel at the close on Tuesday.
* One barges of premium unleaded gasoline traded in the window at $959 a tonne fob ARA, down from $986-$991 a tonne fob ARA on Tuesday. Vitol sold to Philips 66.
* ICE Brent crude futures were down up 40 cents at $103.02 a barrel around the same time.
* U.S. RBOB gasoline futures were down 2.65 percent at $2.7500 a gallon around the same time.
* RBOB's crack to U.S. crude futures RB-CL1=R was trading at $24.62 a barrel, down from $25.98 a barrel at the close on Tuesday.
* Two cargoes traded at $813-$814 a tonne cif NWE, down from $830-$831 a tonne cif NWE on Tuesday.
* BP and Gunvor sold to Vitol.
* Margins continued to erode, falling to around minus $11.88 a barrel, down from around $10.28 a barrel on Tuesday afternoon. (Reporting by Jessica Donati, editing by William Hardy)