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SINGAPORE: Asia's naphtha crack climbed on Thursday, supported by steady petrochemicals demand and expectations for tighter supplies in the coming months. The naphtha crack rose to $97.28 per tonne on Thursday, up from $92.78 per tonne a day earlier.

"Asian naphtha demand is expected to increase by some 2.8 million tonnes year-on-year in the second quarter of 2021 due to strong worldwide ethylene and propylene demand and the region's production capacity expansion," Energy Aspects said in a monthly note.

"We expect 2 million tonnes of this incremental Asian demand will need to be met by additional naphtha imports from other regions," the consultancy added.

Meanwhile, Asia's gasoline crack rose to $4.71 per barrel on Thursday, up from $4.17 a barrel on Wednesday.

Singapore's light distillate inventories rose 1.2% to 15.7 million barrels in the week to Feb. 17, according to Enterprise Singapore data. Weekly Singapore light distillate inventories have averaged 15.2 million barrels so far this year, compared with an average of 14.2 million barrels in 2020, Reuters calculations showed.

US gasoline inventories rose by 3.9 million barrels in the week to Feb. 12, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a build of 1.4 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Wednesday.

Sri Lanka's Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) has emerged with an offer to sell 110,000 barrels of naphtha from Dolphin Tanker Berth, Colombo, loading over March 16-17. The tender closes on Feb. 23 and will remain valid for 48 hours.

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) sold two separate cargoes of 35,000-tonnes naphtha, loading from Chennai over Feb. 26-28 and March 10-12 respectively to Socar, a broker source said.

Oil prices rallied again on Thursday to hit 13-month highs as concerns that a rare cold snap in Texas could disrupt US crude output for days or even weeks prompted fresh buying.

Hopes of a speedy aviation recovery this year have been knocked back by global travel restrictions after the emergence of new coronavirus variants and a slower than expected vaccination rollout, dimming the outlook for jet fuel demand and oil prices.