SINGAPORE: Asia’s naphtha crack jumped to a one-and-a-half-month high of $101.38 per tonne on Tuesday, up from $93.90 in the previous session, due to concerns of tightening near-term supplies.
The naphtha crack firmed amid expectations of lower arbitrage supplies to Asia due to tightening supplies in Europe, which helped push the East-West arbitrage spread lower, as well as expectations of lower exports from India due to lower refinery runs there amid soaring COVID-19 infections, trade sources said.
The gains, however, could be capped by lower Asian demand due to ongoing steam cracker turnarounds and increased use of LPG as feedstock, the sources said.
The front-month East-West spread fell to $11 a tonne, down from $12 a tonne on Monday, but slightly higher from a two-month low of $10.50 a tonne on Friday.
The gasoline crack climbed to a more than one-week high on Tuesday as concerns over falling consumption in India were overcome by the prospect of a pick-up in summer fuel demand in the United States and Europe as motorists take to the roads.
The gasoline crack in Singapore rose to $6.98 per barrel on Tuesday, compared with $6.51 per barrel in the previous session.
Oil prices rose on Tuesday after more US states eased lockdowns and the European Union sought to attract travellers, helping to offset concerns over fuel demand in India as COVID-19 cases soar.
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to cut its official selling prices (OSPs) for Asia in June, tracking weakness in Middle East benchmark Dubai and demand uncertainty amid a new wave of regional COVID-19 outbreaks, a Reuters survey showed.