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NEW DELHI: Asia’s naphtha refining profit margin fell on Monday as weakness in Chinese petrochemical demand persisted amid COVID-19 restrictions.

The discount on naphtha margin rose to $43.93 a tonne from $33.90 a tonne in the last session. On Monday, the front-month second-half October naphtha was $2 a tonne cheaper than the following month.

“New (COVID-19) restrictions coupled with the dire condition of China’s property market will weigh heavily on Asian petrochemical demand by reducing purchases of construction materials, consumer goods and furniture,” consultancy Energy Aspects said in a report.

Meanwhile, the gasoline margin in the region inched lower at $6.71 a barrel, compared with $6.89 a barrel in the last session.

In physical markets, energy trader Trafigura snapped up 100,000 barrels of the benchmark 92-octane grade gasoline, while Unipec purchased 50,000 barrels of the same grade. BP bought a cargo of first-half November naphtha.

Pakistan’s PSO has sought two cargoes of the benchmark grade of motor fuel for delivery in first-half November, and two cargoes of a combination of 92-octane and 95-octane grade for delivery in late November, the refiner said in tender documents.

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