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SINGAPORE: Asian refining margins for 10 ppm gasoil surged to their strongest level in more than a month on Thursday, while cash premiums for the industrial fuel rose amid limited regional supplies.

Refining margins, or cracks, for 10 ppm gasoil jumped to $41.43 a barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, a level not seen since March 9, when they hit a record high of $44.04 a barrel.

Cracks for the benchmark gasoil grade were at $34.70 a barrel on Wednesday, and have climbed 39% in the last two weeks.

Cash premiums for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur content climbed to $7.91 a barrel to Singapore quotes on Thursday, up from $7.70 per barrel a day earlier.

The April/May time spread for 10ppm gasoil widened its backwardation on Thursday to trade at $10.50 a barrel, while the May/June spread traded at $9.80 per barrel, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wants the government to introduce jet fuel subsidies and launch a discount tourism campaign as part of a relief package for the economy, a draft proposal obtained by Reuters showed on Thursday.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has instructed his cabinet to compile measures by April that will draw on budget reserves. The size of the planned spending is not known, but the administration hopes to keep it relatively small, government officials with knowledge of the matter have told Reuters.

Kishida instead hopes to unveil a bigger spending plan closer to an upper house election scheduled in July, said the officials who were not authorised to speak to media and declined to be identified.

Major global trading houses are planning to reduce crude and fuel purchases from Russia’s state-controlled oil companies as early as May 15, sources said, to avoid falling foul of European Union sanctions on Russia.

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