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Gasoline Rises for Sixth Week, Naphtha Margins Fall: Oil

Singapore gasoline prices gained for the sixth week. Naphtha refining margins fell this week after stockpiles rose globally.

Light Distillates

The premium of naphtha for delivery to Japan to Brent crude, or the crack spread, fell to $152.62 a metric ton at 5:51 p.m. Singapore time from $158.93 a ton at the end of Asian trading on Nov. 26, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Open-specification naphtha for delivery to Japan gained 4.3 percent this week to $835.50 a ton, Bloomberg data showed. Benchmark 92-RON gasoline rose 7.4 percent to $99.05 a barrel. Asia gasoline’s premium to naphtha, or the reforming margin, rose to $7.90 a barrel from $4.75 a week earlier, Bloomberg calculations showed. A widening gap signals naphtha is less valuable to refiners relative to gasoline.

Vitol Group bought 50,000 barrels of 97-RON gasoline loading Dec. 22 to Dec. 26 from Shell at $102.20 a barrel, traders said. Vitol bought 50,000 barrels of 92-RON loading Dec. 18 to Dec. 22 from ConocoPhillips at $99.10 a barrel.

Naphtha stockpiles in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp oil-trading hub surged 50 percent to 99,000 tons, PJK International BV said yesterday. Singapore’s onshore inventories of light distillates such as naphtha, reformate and gasoline, climbed 0.5 percent to 10.4 million barrels, a unit of the trade ministry said yesterday.

Middle Distillates

Prices of gasoil and jet fuel loading in Singapore rose for the second week as a diesel shortage in China continued.

Singapore prices of gasoil with 0.5 percent sulfur gained 4.5 percent this week to $100.55 a barrel, according to Bloomberg data. Jet fuel increased 3.8 percent to $101.60 a barrel. Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude, or the crack spread, rose to $13.19 a barrel today from $12.82 a week earlier.

Jet fuel’s premium to gasoil, known as the regrade, fell to $1.05 a barrel from $1.65 a barrel on Nov. 26, Bloomberg data showed. A narrowing regrade indicates aviation fuel is less valuable to make relative to gasoil.

Shell bought 230,000 barrels of jet fuel for loading Dec. 28 to Jan. 2 from BP Plc at 40 cents below prices published by Platts, traders said. BP bought 150,000 barrels of gasoil with a sulfur content of 0.5 percent for loading Dec. 21 to Dec. 25 from Mercuria Energy Ltd. at 30 cents below Platts prices.

Fuel Oil

The premium of December fuel oil swaps to January swaps, known as timespread, rose to the highest in almost 11 months.

The timespread rose to $2.25 a ton from $2 a ton yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s the highest since Jan. 8.

The price of 180-centistoke fuel oil gained for the second week, rising 3.6 percent to $512.75 a ton this week, while the price of 380-centistoke fuel oil, mainly used as marine fuel, rose 3.7 percent to $504 a ton this week, according to Bloomberg data.

The benchmark fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude, or the crack spread, widened to $7.86 a barrel this week from $6.69 a barrel on Nov. 26.

Korea East-West Power Co. plans to buy as much as 80,000 metric tons of maximum 2.5 percent sulfur fuel oil for Dec. 27 to Jan. 6 delivery, according to a tender document, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News.

Brightoil Petroleum Group bought five 20,000-ton cargoes at $1.50 a ton above Platts’ assessments for the fuel.

PetroChina Co. sold a cargo to Brightoil for loading Dec. 28 to Jan. 1. Itochu Corp. sold two cargoes for loading from Dec. 22 to Dec. 26 and from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1. Kuo Oil (Singapore) Pte sold a cargo for Dec. 22 to Dec. 26 loading. Fal Oil Co. sold a cargo for loading Dec. 22 to Dec. 26.

Brightoil bought a 40,000-ton cargo of the grade from Fal Oil at a premium of $1 a ton over the assessments for loading Dec. 18 to Dec. 22.

Refinery News

West Pacific Petrochemical Corp., a refinery run by PetroChina Co., will shut its 200,000 barrel-a-day plant in China’s northeastern province of Dalian for scheduled maintenance in March or April, the official Xinhua News Agency reported. The maintenance will last for 30 days, according to the report today.

-- Editor: John Chacko

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