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SINGAPORE: Asia’s cash premiums for 10 ppm gasoil rose on Thursday, climbing to a five-week high, while refining margins for the industrial fuel soared to a new all-time high amid expectations for recovering Chinese demand as it eases COVID curbs.

Cash differentials for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur conten were at a premium of $7.29 a barrel to Singapore quotes, compared with $6.69 per barrel a day earlier.

Refining profit margins, or cracks, for 10 ppm gasoil rose to $64.62 per barrel over Dubai crude on Thursday, a new high, according to Refinitiv Eikon data that goes back to 2014. The cracks stood at $60.17 per barrel on Wednesday.

China’s economy showed signs of recovery in May after slumping in the prior month as industrial production rose unexpectedly. The uptick in the industrial sector was underpinned by the easing of COVID curbs and strong global demand.

Meanwhile, Asian refining margins for jet fuel surged to $56.02 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trade on Thursday, the highest on record according to Refinitiv Eikon data that goes back to 2009. They were at $52.74 per barrel on Wednesday.

ingapore’s middle-distillate inventories climbed 17.2% to an eight-week high of 7.96 million barrels in the week to June 15, according to Enterprise Singapore data. This week’s onshore stocks, however, were about 39% lower compared with the corresponding week a year earlier.

Weekly Singapore middle-distillate inventories have averaged about 7.6 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 0.7 million barrels in the week to June 10, versus expectations for a 0.3 million-barrel rise, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

US President Joe Biden, under pressure over sky-high gasoline prices, on Wednesday demanded oil refining companies explain why they are not putting more fuel on the market as they reap windfall profits.

Oil prices erased early gains to head lower on Thursday, a day after a fall triggered by a US interest rate hike, though tight supply limited losses.

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