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NEW DELHI: Asia’s naphtha refining profit margins plummeted to 14-year lows on Wednesday due to oversupply worries amid tepid demand and swelling Middle Eastern inventories, market watchers said.

The crack plunged to minus $79.98 a tonne, the lowest since November 2008 and down $30.53 from Tuesday. “Until and unless China comes out fully from COVID-19 curbs, demand is expected to remain low,” said Mohammed Yasser, a senior analyst at Refinitiv Oil Research.

Stocks of light distillates at the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone (FOIZ) jumped by 1.1 million barrels to a more than 10-month high of 7.4 million barrels in the week ended June 6, according to industry information service S&P Global Commodity Insights.

Meanwhile, US gasoline inventories rose by 1.8 million barrels last week, market sources told Reuters, compared with a Reuters forecast of an increase of 1.1 million barrels. Oil prices rose on Wednesday, despite a likely rise in US oil stocks, on the easing of Chinese COVID-19 related lockdowns and a possible strike by Norwegian oil workers.

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