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Asia Naphtha/Gasoline-Naphtha prices rise tracking crude oil, crack steady

Asia’s naphtha prices rose on Thursday in tandem with stronger crude oil benchmarks, but cracks remained steady amid lack of trades at the window for a seventh straight session.

The refining profit margin for naphtha was at $65.16 per metric ton over Brent crude. The price for first-half April naphtha rose by $10 to $690.50 per ton.

In gasoline markets, the margin rose to $12.82 per barrel over Brent crude from about $11 a day earlier, even as inventories increased at key trading hubs.

Singapore’s light distillate stocks rose by 1.39 million barrels to an eight-month high of 14.302 million barrels in the week to Feb. 21, Enterprise Singapore data showed. O/SING1

In tenders, India’s MRPL sold mid-March cargo of reformate to energy trader ENOC, market players said.

NEWS

– Oil prices rose for a second day on Thursday, buoyed by expectations that demand in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer, will improve as refineries try to return to service after outages and as the dollar weakened.

– India’s crude oil imports jumped to a 21-month high in January as the world’s third-biggest oil importer and consumer shipped in more fuel to meet surging demand led by strong industrial activity.

– BP plans to return its 435,000 barrel-per-day Whiting, Indiana refinery, the largest in the U.S. Midwest, to full production in March, said people familiar with plant operations on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE CASH DEALS O/AS

Two gasoline trades, no naphtha deals.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mohi Narayan; Editing by Varun H K)

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