SINGAPORE: Asia’s 10-ppm sulphur gasoil margins and jet fuel cracks extended losses for a second consecutive day amid firmer oil futures despite some buying interest in the open market.
The regrade spread widened even further to a discount of $3.90 per barrel triggered by bearish sentiment, with limited buying interest on the jet fuel front as well.
Cash differentials for 10 ppm sulphur gasoil trended upwards despite weakness in cracks as buying interest was still present from a handful of traders.
However, some participants were questioning if the demand was organic or just trader-based short covering activity.
The arbitrage differential on an EFS basis remained closed for sellers to send Asian cargoes over to northwest Europe, even as strike action continued in France.
US crude oil stockpiles were seen rising last week, while distillate and gasoline inventories were expected to fall, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday. Six analysts polled by Reuters estimated on average that crude inventories rose by about 200,000 barrels in the week to March 24. Distillate inventories, which include diesel and heating oil, were expected to have decreased by about 1.4 million barrels last week.
Industrial action over the past three weeks has seen every French refinery debilitated to some extent, hindering fuel deliveries throughout the country and hurting European crude prices as market players look to sell.
Oil production in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region (KRI) is at risk after a halt in northern exports forced firms operating there to cease output or divert crude to storage, where capacity is limited.
Russia has successfully redirected all its crude oil exports affected by Western sanctions over Ukraine to “friendly” countries, Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov said on Tuesday, but oil and gas output is still set to decline this year.
Crude prices firmed on Tuesday, extending sharp gains from the previous session amid supply disruption risks from Iraqi Kurdistan and hopes that turmoil in banking is being contained.