Asia’s gasoline crack edges lower; naphtha gains
Asia’s gasoline crack inched lower on Friday, posting a weekly loss of 21 cents despite a 9% decline in Northwest European inventories.
The crack stood at $7.26 a barrel, down from $7.45 in the previous session. “While governments across the region are slowly relaxing mobility restrictions on the back of increased vaccinations rates, new infection rates have remained high and could potentially temper with the demand recovery going forward,” Refinitive Oil Research said in a report.
In physical markets, demand for the 95-octane grade gasoline stayed firm. Total and Vitol purchased one cargo each of the fuel.
Meanwhile, Asian naphtha crack edged higher and posted a weekly gain, while the prompt inter-month spread widened in backwardation to $7.25 a tonne.
The crack climbed to $137.58 per tonne from $136.13 in the previous session, registering a gain of $6.55 for the week.
Naphtha stocks held in independent storage in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage area rose to 299,000 tonnes in the week to Thursday from 296,000 tonnes last week, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed.
Gasoline stocks fell to 757,000 tonnes from last week’s 833,000 tonnes due to fewer flows coming to the region along the Rhine river, and as exports increased, Insights Global’s Patrick Kulsen said. Iranian fuel and petrochemical exports have boomed in recent years despite stringent US sanctions, leaving Iran well placed to expand sales swiftly in Asia and Europe if Washington lifts its curbs, trading sources and officials said. Brent oil futures dipped on Friday but held above $75 a barrel, remaining on track for weekly gains of more than 3% thanks to the slow recovery in output after two hurricanes in the US Gulf of Mexico.