NEW DELHI: Asian refining margins for gasoline fell on Thursday as raw material crude prices firmed, while some traders were concerned the market would remain under pressure in the near term as the Omicron coronavirus variant threatens demand across regions.
Refining profit margins, also known as cracks, for gasoline slipped to $10.18 per barrel on Thursday, down from $12.64 per barrel touched in the previous session. Asia’s naphtha crack dipped to $158.73 per tonne on Thursday, compared with $163.40 a tonne on Wednesday.
India’s gasoil sales in the first half of December rose from November and compared to the same period last year, preliminary sales data showed on Thursday, reflecting a pick up in industrial activity in the world’s third-biggest oil consumer.
Gasoil sales by the country’s state fuel retailers were 2.87 million tonnes during Dec. 1-15, the data compiled by state-owned refiners showed, up 17.9% from the same period in November and up 3.3% from a year ago. However, sales were down 1.68% from the same period in 2019.
Gasoline sales during the period continued to stay above pre-COVID-19 levels as people continued to prefer using personal vehicles over public transport for safety reasons. Sales were at 1.12 million tonnes, up 16.2% from the same period in 2019, 6.9% higher than in November and up 5.9% from a year ago, the data showed.
Singapore’s light distillate inventories rose 0.9% to a two-week high of 12.1 million barrels in the week to Dec. 15, according to Enterprise Singapore data.
Weekly Singapore light distillate inventories have averaged 13.4 million barrels so far this year, compared with an average of 14.2 million barrels in 2020, Reuters calculations showed.
US gasoline stocks fell by 719,000 barrels in the week to Dec. 10, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. This compares with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.6 million-barrel rise.?
India’s Reliance Industries Ltd, operator of the world’s biggest refining complex at Jamnagar in Western India, aims to get the first cargo of oil from its new Abu Dhabi-based trading unit in December, a source familiar with the matter said.