SINGAPORE Asia's naphtha crack extended declines on Thursday, falling to a two-week low, after cracker turnarounds in north Asia as well as firmer crude oil prices tempered near-term demand expectations, trade sources said.
The potential for increased naphtha exports from India amid easing restrictions also dampened sentiment, one trade source said.
Still, naphtha margins were expected to be supported by the launch of new crackers in South Korea's LG Chen and GS Caltex later this month as well as narrow arbitrage arrivals in June.
The naphtha crack fell to $100.25 a tonne on Thursday, down from $104.80 a tonne in the previous session and its lowest since May 27. Similarly, the gasoline crack fell to $5.05 a barrel on Thursday, from $5.72 a barrel on Wednesday, after US inventory data pointed to weak consumer fuel demand.
Singapore's light distillate inventories dropped 11% to a five-week low of 12.11 million barrels in the week to June 9, according to Enterprise Singapore data.
In the Unites States, gasoline stocks rose by 7 million barrels in the week to 241 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for a 698,000-barrel rise.
Many people already had fuel because gasoline buyers across the US East Coast hoarded supplies after the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack shut the nation's largest fuel line for several days. Fuel demand also took a hit from thunderstorms up and down the coast during the Memorial Day weekend.
One gasoline trade, none on naphtha
India's BPCL sold a 30,000 tonne naphtha cargo loading from Mumbai over June 19-20 to BP at an unknown price level.
Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has resumed exports of straight run fuel oil (SRFO) following an outage last week at a unit in its 835,000 barrels per day Ruwais plant, five trade sources said.