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NEW DELHI: Asia’s naphtha crack extended gains on Monday after posting a profit of nearly 16% last week and as a spike in crude oil benchmarks supported prices.

The refining profit margin jumped to $169.95 per tonne, its strongest since Nov. 11, from $162.50 on Friday.

“Robust light plastics demand from continued hybrid working schedules has encouraged maximum ethylene yields,” consultancy Energy Aspects said in a note.

Meanwhile, world’s top oil exporter Saudi Aramco has increased March prices for its Arab light crude grade for Asian customers by 60 cents a barrel versus February to a premium of $2.80 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average.

Japan is expected to hike its gasoline subsidy for oil distributors to 5 yen ($0.04) a litre for the week starting on Thursday, a government source told Reuters, hitting a cap for the temporary scheme to blunt a sharp rise in fuel prices.

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