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NEW DELHI: Asia’s gasoline and naphtha refining profit margins gained on Wednesday despite a rise in US and Middle Eastern inventories, due to weakness in crude oil markets.

The gasoline crack rose to $25.62 a barrel, up 50 cents from the previous close, while the naphtha crack climbed to $123.55 a tonne, up $11.98 from Tuesday. Naphtha markets narrowed further in contango by $2.25.

In physical markets, Trafigura purchased 50,000 barrels of the benchmark 92-octane grade motor fuel. BP bought 25,000 tonnes of first-half July naphtha, market watchers said.

Stocks of light distillates at the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ) rose 1.268 million barrels to 5.326 million barrels in the week ended May 9, data from industry information service S&P Global Commodity Insights showed. US gasoline stocks rose by 823,000 barrels last week, market sources told Reuters.

Sri Lanka’s Ceypetco issued a tender seeking 300,000 barrels of the benchmark grade gasoline for delivery in first week of June. The tender closes on May 18. The refiner had earlier sought another 300,000 barrels of motor fuel for late-May delivery. The tender closed on May 10, according to the document on the refiner’s website.

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