NEW DELHI: Asia’s gasoline markets weakened to lowest since August 2021 on Friday and the refining profit margin posted a weekly loss of more than 54% amid concerns about slowing demand, market participants said.
The crack dropped to $6.26 a barrel, down from $9.68 a day earlier. Naphtha margin fell 73% this week to $10.23 a tonne amid muted trading.
In physical markets, energy trader Unipec snapped up two cargoes of the higher 95-octane grade, and a cargo of the benchmark 92-octane grade of motor fuel. Vitol bought a cargo each of the two grades. “Price benchmarks for refined products have broadly weakened on the back of demand woes stemming from a mix of recession fears as well as fresh waves of (COVID-19) infections across Asia,” said Charles Ong, senior analyst at Refinitiv Oil Research.
Gasoline stocks held at Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) storage hub rose to 1.246 million tonnes in the week to Thursday from 1.223 million tonnes in the prior week, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed. Naphtha stocks rose 4% to 376,000 tonnes.
Saudi Arabia more than doubled the amount of Russian fuel oil it imported in the second quarter to feed power stations to meet cooling demand and free up the kingdom’s own crude for export, data showed and traders said.