Asia Naphtha Crack Gains; Trafigura Buys Gasoil: Oil Products

Asia’s naphtha crack spread is set for the biggest weekly gain in three weeks, signaling increased profit for refiners. Trafigura Beheer BV extended its gasoil purchases in Singapore, the region’s largest oil-trading center.

Light Distillates

The premium of Japan naphtha to London-traded Brent crude futures rose $2.30 to $110.05 a metric ton at 5:30 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, has widened 23 percent so far this week, the most in December.

Itochu Corp. bought 25,000 tons of open-specification naphtha for first-half February delivery from Mabanaft GmbH and sold the same quantity for second-half February to the German trader, according to a Bloomberg News survey of traders who monitored the Platts window. The earlier-delivered cargo traded at a premium of $6.75 a ton to the later shipment.

Phillips 66 bought gasoline for a third day in Singapore, the survey showed. The Houston-based refiner paid $117 a barrel to Arcadia Petroleum Ltd. for 50,000 barrels of 92-RON grade loading Jan. 10 to Jan. 14.

Vitol Group purchased a similar-sized cargo of 97-RON gasoline loading Jan. 16 to Jan. 20 from Gunvor Group Ltd. at $121.60 a barrel, according to the survey.

Middle Distillates

Hin Leong Trading Pte sold 150,000 barrels of gasoil, or diesel, with 0.5 percent sulfur to Trafigura for Jan. 16 to Jan. 20 loading, according to the Bloomberg survey. The transaction was at 60 cents a barrel below average December quotes, a smaller discount than the 90 cents in a similar transaction yesterday. Amsterdam-based Trafigura has purchased at least 16 gasoil cargoes of two grades totaling 2.9 million barrels so far this month.

Gasoil’s premium to Asian marker Dubai crude climbed 45 cents to $20.72 a barrel at 2:18 p.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread, a gauge of processing profit, has widened 5 percent so far this week, poised to erase last week’s 4.1 percent drop.

Jet fuel was at a discount of 10 cents a barrel to gasoil, PVM said. A negative regrade shows it is unprofitable to make aviation fuel over diesel.

Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold 100,000 barrels of jet fuel to PetroChina Co. for a second day, according to the survey. The cargo, for the earliest loading period of Jan. 5 to Jan. 9, changed hands at a premium of 20 cents a barrel to January prices.

Fuel Oil

PetroChina sold 40,000 tons of 380-centistoke high-sulfur fuel oil to a unit of SK Innovation Co. at parity to average January quotes, according to the Bloomberg survey. BP Plc bought a 20,000-ton shipment from Cargill Inc. at a discount of 75 cents a ton to benchmark prices. The cargoes are for Jan. 7 to Jan. 11 and Jan. 6 to Jan. 10 loading respectively.

Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude was at $7.81 a barrel at 2:18 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM. This crack spread is set to widen for a second week, indicating increased losses for refiners producing residual products.

The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to 380-centistoke grade was unchanged for a fourth day at $10.25 a ton, PVM data showed. This viscosity spread has widened 2.5 percent this week, meaning bunker, or marine fuel, increased less than supplies used in power stations.

Refinery News

Reliance Industries Ltd. postponed plans to shut a crude unit at the newer of its two Jamnagar refineries by a month to mid-February, said two people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. The unit has a capacity of 580,000 barrels a day.

China’s “teapot refineries,” or smaller plants in Shandong province, increased processing to 46.2 percent of capacity as of yesterday from 46 percent a week earlier, according to Oilchem.net. Rates may decline next week because of reduced fuel demand, the Shandong-based industry website said. Major refineries operated at 87.8 percent of capacity, Shanghai- based commodity researcher C1 Energy said.

Tenders

Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. sold two 35,000- ton naphtha cargoes to Total SA and 40,000 tons of 0.5 percent sulfur gasoil to B.B. Energy for January loading, said two traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. The unit of India’s biggest energy explorer also sold 40,000 tons of vacuum gasoil to Vitol for January loading from New Mangalore.

Indian Oil Corp. sold as much as 35,000 tons of 380- centistoke fuel oil to Gunvor for January loading from Chennai, said two traders who asked not to be named because the information is confidential. India’s largest refiner also sold 30,000 tons of naphtha to Total for January loading from Kandla.

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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