Asia Naphtha/Gasoline-Naphtha markets end the week in losses, gasoline gains
Asia’s naphtha markets weakened by about 28% this week amid volatility in crude oil benchmarks, triggered by the Israel-Hammas war and persisting poor downstream cracking margins, traders and analysts said.
The crack fell by about $7 to a discount of $14.15 a metric ton over Brent crude on Friday and the first-half December naphtha rice dropped by $6 to $659.50 per ton.
In physical markets, there were no trades for naphtha for a fourth straight session. This month, only 50,000 tons of the product has changed hands so far in two separate deals, market participants said.
In gasoline markets, the margin jumped by about 89% this week amid firm demand in Indonesia, traders said. The crack Gl92-SIN-CRK was steady over $5 per barrel over Brent crude on Friday.
Indonesia’s gasoline imports are on course to reach 1.09 million tons in October, up from about 930,000 tons last month, ship-tracking data from Kpler showed.
Gasoline stocks at the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) hub rose by 3% to 1.4 million tons in the week to Thursday as exports to Argentina and West Africa were offset by imports from northwest Europe and the Mediterranean, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed.
Naphtha inventories rose to 212,000 tons in the week to Oct. 26, from 175,000 tons in the prior week.
– Oil prices rose by more than $2 a barrel on Friday as investors priced in fears of an escalation of conflict in the Middle East which could disrupt oil supplies, after reports that the U.S military had struck Iranian targets in Syria. O/R
– China has set a minimum size for new oil refineries and will ban small crude processors that claim to be chemicals or bitumen producers under a plan to limit total capacity at 1 billion metric tons, or 20 million barrels per day, by 2025.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mohi Narayan; Editing by Sonia Cheema)