Asia Fuel Oil Losses Widen; Trafigura Buys Gasoil: Oil Products

Asia’s fuel oil crack spread widened, signaling increased losses for refiners turning crude into residual products. Trafigura Beheer BV extended its gasoil purchases in Singapore, the region’s largest oil-trading center.

Fuel Oil

PetroChina Co. bought 20,000 metric tons of 380-centistoke high-sulfur fuel oil from Lukoil OAO at a discount of $2 a ton to benchmark quotes, according to a Bloomberg News survey of traders who monitored transactions on the Platts window. The cargo is for Jan. 14 to Jan. 18 loading.

Fuel oil’s discount to Asian marker Dubai crude widened 22 cents to $7.58 a barrel at 3:12 p.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread widened for a third day.

The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to 380-centistoke grade, or the viscosity spread, was unchanged for a second day at $10.25 a ton, PVM said. This means bunker, or marine fuel, moved in tandem with supplies used in power stations.

Middle Distillates

Trafigura bought 150,000 barrels of gasoil, or diesel, with 0.5 percent sulfur for a third day, according to the Bloomberg survey. It paid 30 cents a barrel below average December prices to Royal Dutch Shell Plc to load from Jan. 12 to Jan. 16.

The Amsterdam-based trader also bought 250,000 barrels of the fuel with 500 parts-per-million of sulfur from China International United Petroleum & Chemical Co., known as Unipec, the survey showed. The shipment, for Jan. 11 to Jan. 15 loading, changed hands at a premium of $1.40 a barrel to average December prices.

Trafigura has purchased at least 14 gasoil cargoes of either grade in Singapore so far this month, totaling 2.6 million barrels.

Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude rebounded 48 cents to $19.69 a barrel at 3:12 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM. This crack spread, a measure of processing profit, widened for the first time in four days.

Jet fuel dropped 15 cents to a premium of 15 cents a barrel to gasoil, PVM data showed. This regrade snapped a 10-day rising streak, indicating it is less profitable to make aviation fuel over diesel.

Light Distillates

Shell bought 25,000 tons of naphtha for second-half February delivery from Mabanaft GmbH at $945 a ton, according to the Bloomberg survey. Glencore International Plc sold a similar cargo for first-half March delivery to Vitol Group at $938 a ton.

The premium of Japan naphtha to London-traded Brent crude futures rose $5.36 to $115.86 a ton at 5:18 p.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread, a measure of the profit from making the petrochemical and gasoline feedstock, widened for the second time in three days.

BP Plc bought 50,000 barrels of 92-RON gasoline loading Jan. 5 to Jan. 9 from a unit of SK Innovation Co. at $115.90 a barrel, according to the Bloomberg survey. Europe’s second- biggest oil company sold the same quantity of 95-RON grade for loading Jan. 3 to Jan. 7 to Phillips 66 at $118.50 a barrel.

Gunvor Group Ltd. sold 50,000 barrels of 95-RON gasoline loading Jan. 14 to Jan. 18 to Shell at $118.45 a barrel, the survey showed.

Refinery News

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp., or Sinopec, plans to process 15.5 million tons of crude next year at its Jinling refinery, according to an official who asked not to be identified due to company policy. There are no major maintenance plans for the 4.5 million ton-a-year plant in 2013.

Tenders

Total SA bought a total of 140,000 tons of paraffinic naphtha from Bharat Petroleum Corp. and Oil & Natural Gas Corp. for January loading from Mumbai and Hazira, said three traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Bharat Petroleum offered to sell 35,000 tons of paraffinic naphtha for January loading from Mumbai, said two traders who asked not to be named because the information is confidential.

Vietnam National Petroleum Corp., or Petrolimex, sought to buy about 21,000 tons of 0.25 percent sulfur gasoil and 10,800 tons of 92-RON gasoline for January to March loading, according to a document e-mailed to potential suppliers.

Indian Oil Corp. canceled an offer to sell 35,000 tons of naphtha for January loading from Chennai, said two traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

To contact the reporters on this story: Yee Kai Pin in Singapore at kyee13@bloomberg.net; Ann Koh in Singapore at akoh15@bloomberg.net; Winnie Zhu in Singapore at wzhu4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

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