Asia’s 10-ppm sulphur gasoil margins surged on the back of positive news from other regions, but gains were capped by cautious sentiment on regional market fundamentals and thin activity ahead of the Lunar New Year.
Support came from expectations of prompt supply disruptions in northwest Europe on strike action and tightening supplies entering February-March in the United States on planned maintenance.
Asian traders, however, were bearish on sufficient regional supply for February-loading – as evidenced from the numerous offers from refiners via open tenders.
Refining margins closed the session at $35.71 a barrel.
Cash differentials rose slightly to $1.93 a barrel despite a lack of real discussion in the open market.
Jet fuel refining margins firmed even more to $34.88 a barrel on an open arbitrage to the West, resulting in narrower regrade at a discount of 83 cents a barrel.
SINGAPORE CASH DEALS
– No gasoil or jet fuel deals.
– South Korean refiners offer more Feb gasoil
– U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories rose last week, while distillate stockpiles fell, according to market sources citing American Petroleum Institute figures on Wednesday.
– Middle distillate stocks held by up to 14 major oil and oil storage companies fell to a three-week low of 8.146 million barrels in the week to Jan. 18, according to data released on Thursday by Enterprise Singapore.