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NEW DELHI: Asia’s naphtha crack extended gains on Tuesday and touched more than seven-year high amid firm feedstock demand from petrochemical units.

The refining profit margin climbed to $173.98 a tonne, the strongest since July 2014, from $167.85 in the last session. Naphtha margins have gained nearly 50% since September.

“Naphtha demand continued to find firm support as a cracker feedstock amid persistently more expensive prices for propane, with robust buying interest from petrochemical producers pushing premiums for spot cargoes higher,” Refinitiv Oil Research said in a report.

Meanwhile, the gasoline crack in the region eased slightly but remained strong above $15 per barrel on signs of robust consumption growth with easing of pandemic restrictions. The crack slipped to $15.47 a barrel from $15.98 in the previous session. Analysts estimated that US stockpiles of gasoline were seen down by about 1.2 million barrels last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed.

Oil rose towards $85 a barrel on Tuesday, not far from a multi-year high, supported by signs that supply from OPEC and other producers is falling short as demand recovers from the worst of the pandemic.

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