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NEW DELHI: Asia’s naphtha crack extended gains on Monday, as hopes of steady demand over rising prices of alternative cracker feedstock liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) supported margins.

The crack rose to $159.63 a tonne from $157.38 on Friday. However, naphtha margins have dropped significantly from their November high of $173 per tonne due to lower ethylene and propylene prices amid easing tightness in the market.

With most South Korean and Japanese plants still running at full capacity, the downside to regional naphtha demand is unlikely to reduce to an extent that would significantly affect cracks, consultancy JBC Energy said in a note.

The gasoline crack, on the other hand, traded steadily over $12 a barrel in tandem with an increase in crude oil benchmarks over optimism that the Omicron coronavirus variant’s impact will be limited on fuel demand.

Gasoline margins have gained nearly 62% in December on hopes of recovery in consumption in the region.

Malaysia and China’s state-owned Shanxi Construction Investment Group on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the production of second-generation bio-diesel and biojet fuel.

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