Asia Distillates-Gasoil cracks register fourth straight weekly drop

Asian refining margins for 10 ppm gasoil slipped on Friday, posting their fourth consecutive weekly decline, while cash discounts for the industrial fuel widened amid muted demand in the physical market. Refining margins, or cracks, for 10 ppm gasoil dipped 4 cents to $5.91 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours.

Cracks for the benchmark gasoil grade in Singapore have slipped 2.2% this week, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. The cracks remain at their weakest seasonal levels on record, weighed down by a sluggish demand recovery, and steady export volumes emerging from China and India that is keeping the region grappling with ample supplies. Gasoil exports from India this month are expected to exceed February's total of 1.85 million tonnes, while March-loading diesel exports from China are expected to be in a range of 2.2 million-2.3 million tonnes, Refinitiv Oil Research assessments showed. But traders remain hopeful the gasoil market would strengthen in coming months as COVID-19 vaccinations help governments lift mobility restrictions and industrial activities pick up more steam, while upcoming spring turnarounds at regional refineries would tighten supplies.

Cash differentials for 10 ppm gasoil were at a discount of 24 cents per barrel to Singapore quotes on Friday, compared with a discount of 19 cents per barrel on Thursday.

ARA INVENTORIES - Gasoil stocks held independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage hub dropped 2.4% to 2.36 million tonnes in the week to March 18, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed. - The data showed ARA jet fuel inventories rose 2.3% to 986,000 tonnes.

SINGAPORE CASH DEALS - One jet fuel trade, no gasoil deals OTHER NEWS - Goldman Sachs said it sees the oil price pullback as a buying opportunity and forecasts Brent crude could reach $80 per barrel this summer even as the recent rally in prices "takes a big breather." - Oil prices rose by more than $1 on Friday, after a big sell-off in the previous session as a new wave of coronavirus infections across Europe triggered fresh lockdowns and dampened expectations of any imminent recovery in fuel demand.

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