Asia Distillates-Gasoil cash discount narrows, cracks dip

Asia's cash differentials for 10 ppm gasoil gained on Friday backed by a firmer deal in the physical market, while refining margins for the industrial fuel dipped amid concerns that near-term supplies would likely outweigh demand.

Cash differentials for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur content were at a discount of 13 cents a barrel to Singapore quotes on Friday, compared with a 14-cent discount on Thursday. Refining profit margins, also known as cracks, for 10 ppm gasoil slipped 8 cents to $4.97 a barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours. The cracks, however, have gained 6.7% this week. With surging COVID-19 cases and renewed lockdowns in several countries, the industrial and transportation demand will come under further pressure, trade sources said. The front-month time spread for 10 ppm gasoil, which has remained in a contango structure since early August, traded at a discount of 14 cents per barrel on Friday, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

The regional gasoil market, currently grappling with supplies also due to lack of arbitrage opportunities to Europe, is expected to receive additional supplies from China over the next few weeks, which would worsen the glut, market watchers said. The exchange of futures for swaps (EFS), which determines the gasoil price spread between Singapore and Northwest Europe, traded around minus $3 per tonne on Friday, typically making it unworkable for arbitrage shipments. Arbitrage is usually profitable when the EFS trades at about minus $15 a tonne or below, though it also depends on other factors such as freight rates, according to traders. ARA STOCKS - Gasoil stocks held independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage hub dropped 7.9% to 2.4 million tonnes in the week to Nov. 19, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed. - The data showed ARA jet fuel inventories fell 4.4% to 1.1 million tonnes.

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