SINGAPORE: Asia’s gasoline crack extended gains on Wednesday, climbing to a more than one-year high amid refinery outages in Indonesia and Japan and signs of improved demand for the motor fuel in Asia and the United States, trade sources said.
Sentiment has also been supported by regional refinery turnarounds and falling Singapore inventories, which hit an eight-week low in the week to March 24. The gasoline crack climbed to $7.12 a barrel on Wednesday, up from $6.88 in the previous session and its highest since Feb. 14, 2020.
It has risen steadily over the past three sessions, up from $5.81 a barrel at the start of the month and $3.87 a barrel at the beginning of February.
Analysts estimated that stockpiles of gasoline in the United States rose by 700,000 barrels last week, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday.
Indonesia’s state oil company PT Pertamina said it has put out a fire that had engulfed part of its 125,000 barrel per day refinery in Balongan, West Java and had begun making preparations to restart the plant. Japan’s biggest refiner Eneos Corp shut the 127,500 barrels-per-day crude distillation unit (CDU) and the remaining units at its Wakayama refinery on Monday due to a failure of compressed air equipment and a fire at a building of an air supply device, a company spokeswoman said on Tuesday. Asia’s naphtha crack stabilized on Wednesday, halting declines earlier in the week as concerns over lasting supply disruptions eased following the reopening of the Suez Canal on Tuesday. The naphtha crack rose to $98.45 a tonne on Wednesday, up from a near two-week low of $96.50 a tonne on Tuesday.
The naphtha crack hit a near two-week high of $108.90 per tonne on Friday.
The front-month naphtha arbitrage spread, however, extended losses after falling to a two-week low of $13.75 a tone on Wednesday, down from $14.75 a tonne in the previous session, Refinitiv data in Eikon showed.