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NEW DELHI: Asia’s gasoline refining profit margin inched higher on Monday amid high blend stock prices and soaring seasonal demand, market watchers said.

The crack rose to $31.86 a barrel, up 59 cents from the last close. Gasoline margin also drew support from a fall in Chinese supplies against the backdrop of already tight markets.

China’s May gasoline exports fell 45.5% from a year earlier despite stalling domestic demand, as companies ran short of export quotas, Chinese customs data showed on Saturday.

“Roofing octane prices and persistent inter-product competition for refinery yields will continue to exacerbate gasoline supply tightness this summer,” consultancy Energy Aspects said in a report.

Meanwhile, the naphtha crack in the region also gained on Monday, although the margin continued to trade at a discount of $32.73 a tonne, compared with a discount of $66.43 per tonne on Friday.

Oil prices rose on Monday in volatile trade, reversing earlier losses, as tightening supplies outweighed concerns about slowing global economic growth and fuel demand.

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