Asia’s gasoline cracks rose to its highest in about three months at $8.42 a barrel on an expected tightening of supplies during peak refinery maintenance. Japan’s JX Negishi, South Korea’s S-Oil and Taiwan’s Formosa, among others, have planned maintenance in September or October. Though Singapore onshore light distillates stocks were marginally higher, the levels were far below the record high this year.
The stocks, which comprise mostly gasoline and gasoline blending components, were up 100,000 barrels, or 0.7 percent, to reach a three-week high of 13.74 million barrels in the week to September 7, official data showed. This was sharply lower than the record high of about 15.54 million barrels in early March.
NAPHTHA India’s biggest refiner, Indian Oil Corp, plans to start producing gasoline at its Paradip refinery before year-end after a delay caused by problems at a secondary unit. The state-owned refiner aims to cut its naphtha exports to the bare minimum once the gasoline unit stabilises because the Paradip refinery is designed to maximise gasoline yield with naphtha as a feedstock. Naphtha is mired in a stubborn glut because of recent high refinery runs, cracker maintenance and heavy exports to Asia from the Middle East. The easy availability of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as a feedstock this year was also hurting naphtha sellers because between 5 percent.
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