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SINGAPORE: Asia’s cash premiums for 10 ppm gasoil rose on Thursday, supported by firmer buying interest in the physical market, while middle-distillate inventories in Singapore dropped to a five-week low.

Cash premiums for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur content climbed to $5.09 a barrel to Singapore quotes, up from $4.94 per barrel a day earlier.

Refining margins, or cracks, for 10 ppm gasoil slipped to $51.76 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours on Thursday, compared with Wednesday’s $52.83 per barrel and drifting lower from a record high of $56.75 touched earlier this week.

The June/July time-spread for the benchmark gasoil grade in Singapore widened its backwardation to trade at $5.97 per barrel on Thursday, as against $5.60 per barrel in the previous session.

Asian jet fuel refining profits, already at all-time highs, have enough legroom for more gains in the coming weeks, as relaxed border curbs boost summer travel demand and global airline capacity tops 100 million seats for the first time since early 2020.

Despite rising fares and fuel surcharges, the number of scheduled airline seats has steadily risen for the past three months, industry data showed.

Global flight schedules will reach 100.6 million seats next week and would climb to 108.5 million seats by mid-August, OAG data showed, although the recovery remains uneven.

Singapore’s middle-distillate inventories slipped 2.8% to 6.8 million barrels in the week to June 8, according to Enterprise Singapore data. This week’s onshore stocks were about 40% lower compared with the corresponding week a year earlier.

  • Weekly Singapore middle-distillate inventories have averaged about 7.5 million barrels so far this year, compared with an average of 11.8 million barrels in 2021, Reuters calculations showed.

US distillate inventories, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 2.6 million barrels in the week to June 3, versus expectations for a 1.1 million-barrel rise, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

China’s crude oil imports rose nearly 12% in May from a low base a year earlier, although refiners were still battling high inventories with COVID-19 lockdowns and a slowing economy weighing on fuel demand last month. Refined oil product exports were at 3.27 million tonnes for May, down 40% from the previous year’s 5.41 million tonnes.

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