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SINGAPORE: Asian refining profit margins for jet fuel rose for a third straight session on Wednesday, soaring to their strongest level on record, boosted by recovering aviation demand across the globe.

Refining profits, also known as cracks, for jet fuel climbed to a new record of $36.24 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, up from $31.93 per barrel a day earlier.

The cracks have swelled 44% so far this month, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Global airline capacity has surged to its highest level in 2022 this week because of a rebound in Chinese domestic demand despite extended lockdowns in Asia’s biggest aviation market, travel data firm OAG said on Tuesday.

Carriers across the globe have added 2.5 million seats in the week to Monday, nearly half of which are in China, reversing the capacity reductions that occurred earlier due to travel restrictions in Shanghai.

Cash premiums for jet fuel, however, inched down a cent to $1.19 a barrel to Singapore quotes on Wednesday, due to muted trading activity in the physical market.

The May/June time spread for jet fuel in Singapore widened its backwardation on Wednesday to trade at $4.25 a barrel, as against $3.60 per barrel in the previous session.

Meanwhile, refining margins for 10 ppm gasoil jumped to $46.59 per barrel over Dubai crude on Wednesday, their strongest level on record, according to Refinitiv Eikon data that goes back to 2014. The gasoil cracks were at $42.28 per barrel on Tuesday.

Middle-distillate inventories in the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone climbed 9% to a three-week high of 1.3 million barrels in the week ended April 25, data via S&P Global Commodity Insights showed.

Weekly stocks in Fujairah have averaged 1.8 million barrels so far this year, compared with 3.5 million barrels in 2021, Reuters calculations showed.

US distillate inventories, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 431,000 barrels in the week ended April 22, according to market sources, citing American Petroleum Institute figures.

Oil was broadly steady on Wednesday after Russia cut gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, although lingering concerns about Asian coronavirus lockdowns weighing on economic growth and oil demand kept a lid on prices.

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