SINGAPORE: Asia's naphtha and gasoline cracks gained on Thursday amid expectations of lower supplies, while trade was thin ahead of holidays. The prompt naphtha spread between second-half of February and second-half of March rebounded after a dip on Wednesday as a deal was concluded on Thursday at $4.25 a tonne.
Naphtha has been supported this month amid a flurry of purchases from north Asian petrochemical producers in the past two weeks as three South Korean crackers are set to resume operations in December and January after months of maintenance and outage while Asia's petrochemical margins are robust.
Asia's gasoline crack returned to its highest since October, buoyed by lower exports from China in November and supportive data from the United States, the world's largest consumer of the motor fuel. China's gasoline exports in November retreated from record highs, data showed on Wednesday.
US crude stocks, gasoline and distillate inventories fell last week, as refineries reduced runs ahead of the year-end, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Road fuel demand improved marginally in the most recent week, and analysts said steadier fuel consumption in 2021 will depend on whether COVID-19 vaccines become readily available and support an economic rebound.