Asia Distillates-Gasoil cash differential slips but ends week higher

Cash discounts for cargoes of Asia's 10 ppm gasoil slipped on weaker physical deal values in the Singapore trading window, but ended the week higher on signs of improving demand in Asia.

The 10 ppm cash differential was at a four-session low of minus 4 cents a barrel below Singapore quotes on Friday, down from minus 2 cents in the previous session. The differential climbed to a more than two-week high premium of 5 cents a barrel on Wednesday. Sentiment, however, was capped by concerns of rising regional supplies as refiners in north Asia resume operations following seasonal refinery turnarounds.

China's diesel exports plunged 38% in May from a month before to their lowest level this year, as reduced fuel output during the refinery maintenance season forced refiners to prioritise domestic consumers. China shipped out 1.68 million tonnes of diesel last month, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Friday. That compares with 2.72 million tonnes in April, but was still higher than 1.45 million tonnes in May last year. May gasoline exports were at 1.55 million tonnes, edging up 5% from April and more than double the low base in May 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic curbed travel demand overseas. Jet kerosene exports were up 1.8% year-on-year at 570,000 tonnes. Chinese refiners have been carrying out overhauls since late March, affecting more than 1 million barrels per day of crude processing capacity in April and May.

Gasoil stocks held independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and storage hub <STK-GO-ARA> dropped 7.4% to 2.1 million tonnes in the week ended June 10, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed. ARA jet fuel inventories dipped 2.1% this week to 1.1 million tonnes. In Singapore, middle distillate inventories jumped 15% to a four-week high of 12.96 million barrels in the week to June 16, according to Enterprise Singapore data. The 1.69 million barrel increase in distillate inventories was the largest weekly build up in 14 months. 

Brent crude's premium to Dubai quotes DUB-EFS-1M rose on Friday to the highest in 21 months on the back of stronger demand this summer, effectively keeping Atlantic Basin grades out of Asia's reach, according to traders and Refinitiv data.

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