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SINGAPORE: Asian refining margins for gasoil inched higher on Tuesday despite firmer prices of raw material crude, while cash premiums for the industrial fuel grade inched down on muted buying interests in the physical market.

Although fuel demand concerns due to Omicron are ebbing, strong refinery run rates in the region and lack of gasoil arbitrage opportunities to the West would likely cap any major upside in the near term, trade sources said.

Refining margins, also known as cracks, for 10 ppm gasoil climbed to $13.24 a barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, compared with $13.15 per barrel on Friday.

Cash premiums for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur content dipped by a cent to 76 cents per barrel to Singapore quotes on Tuesday.

China’s oil consumption is expected to keep growing for a decade on robust chemical demand, reaching a peak of about 780 million tonnes per year by 2030, a research institute affiliated with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) said on Sunday.

In its latest report, the research group said diesel fuel, gasoline and kerosene consumption are forecast to peak sometime around 2025 at about 390 million tonnes per year. The strong petrochemical demand will support rising consumption through to 2030.

Overall oil demand will fall after 2030 as transportation consumption declines amid the electrification of vehicles while chemical demand remains stable during the period, the research group said.

Pakistan State Oil was looking for a jet fuel cargo for March 16-31 delivery, in a tender closing on Feb 17.

Oil prices extended gains on Tuesday with prices trading near the previous day’s one-month high on hopes that the Omicron coronavirus variant will have a limited impact on fuel demand.

Malaysia’s state energy firm Petronas said on Tuesday that it anticipates recovery in oil demand from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic to remain fragile and uncertain in the next few years.

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