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13524hr
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SINGAPORE: Asia’s gasoline crack edged higher on Wednesday, buoyed by expectations that seasonal maintenance at regional refineries would keep supplies tight in coming months.

Traders, however, remain concerned the gasoline market would likely come under some pressure as renewed lockdown measures in several markets hit transportation demand, while China and India are expected to keep export volumes elevated this month.

The gasoline crack in Singapore inched up to $5.80 per barrel on Wednesday, compared with $5.57 per barrel a day earlier. The crack has shed about 9% since hitting a recent high of $6.37 on March 15.

Asia’s naphtha crack rose to $102.93 per tonne on Wednesday, up from $99.33 per tonne a day earlier.

Eight tug boats were attempting on Wednesday to free a 400 metre (440-yard) long container ship that ran aground in the Suez Canal, blocking vessels passing through one of the world’s most important waterways, the authority that runs the canal said.

The 224,000-tonne Ever Given was stranded on Tuesday morning after losing the ability to steer amid high winds and a dust storm, the Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said in a statement.

Light-distillate inventories in the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone dropped 9.7% to 6.9 million barrels in the week ended March 22, data via S&P Global Platts showed.

Weekly stocks in Fujairah have averaged 7.2 million barrels this year, while this week’s inventories were about 15% higher compared with the same period a year earlier, Reuters calculations showed. US gasoline inventories fell by 3.7 million barrels in the week to March 19, compared with expectations for a build of 1.2 million barrels, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) is seeking 300,000 barrels of 92-octane gasoline for delivery in Colombo over May 1-2 on a DAP basis. The tender closes on March 30 and will remain valid for three days.