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NEW DELHI: Asia’s gasoline markets came under pressure on Monday, after crude oil benchmarks climbed on fears of fresh sanctions on Russian oil.

The refining profit margin for gasoline eased to $16.15 per barrel, down 45 cents from Friday’s close. Rising blending component prices also weighed on cracks.

“Rocketing naphtha prices on a lack of Russian molecules have pinched the gasoline-naphtha spreads towards low single digits in Europe and Asia, implying that outright gasoline prices need to rise to support blending economics,” consultancy Energy Aspects said in a note.

Front-month naphtha prices jumped by $19 to $982.50 a tonne amid fears of a supply crunch from Russia. Prices touched a 14-year high of $1,191.50 per tonne on March 9 after crude oil benchmarks experienced extreme volatility over Russia oil ban talks. Indian bulk diesel buyers are snapping up diesel from retail stations as pump prices are 25 rupees ($0.33) a litre cheaper than their bulk contract prices, a spokesperson for a fuel retail joint venture of Reliance Industries Ltd and energy major BP said.

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