NEW DELHI: Asia's gasoline crack lingered near its recent multi-year peak on Monday amid recovering demand across the region and a slump in Chinese exports.
The crack rose to $12.31 a barrel from $12.13 on Friday. The refining profit margin touched a four-year high of $12.56 per barrel last week.
China's gasoline exports slumped nearly 21% to 920,000 tonnes year-on-year in September, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.
Asian gasoline exports for October are expected to decline from September's total of about 4.5 million metric tonnes (mt), with some 1.7-1.8 million mt accounted for by Oct. 15, assessments by Refinitiv Oil Research showed.
"Asian runs will have to ramp up to compensate for lost Chinese barrels as the region's demand recovery appears to be in full swing. Gasoline cracks will thus have to climb to reflect tightness in global balances this winter," consultancy Energy Aspect said in a note.
The naphtha crack in the region touched a fresh peak as crackers continued to avoid a pricier liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as feedstock, driving regional demand higher.
The crack climbed to $152.78 per tonne, the strongest level since July 2014, from $151.85 in the last session. "Fewer cracker works in Europe and Asia and propane's growing premium over naphtha will ensure flexi-crackers continue to maximise the heavier feedstock through the end of first quarter 2022," Energy Aspects said in a note.
Power shortages helped drive down China's economic growth to its slowest in a year, while surging coal prices on Monday threaten more pain for Chinese industry and global supply chains.
Oil prices hit multi-year highs buoyed by recovering demand and high natural gas and coal prices encouraging users to switch to fuel oil and diesel for power generation.