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Asia Fuel-Oil Discount Shrinks; Shell Buys Cargoes: Oil Products

Asia fuel oil’s discount to crude narrowed. Royal Dutch Shell Plc bought gasoline and naphtha cargoes for a second day in Singapore, the region’s largest oil-trading center.

Fuel Oil

Fuel oil was at a discount of $3.10 a barrel to Asian marker Dubai crude at 4:46 p.m. Singapore time, down from $3.58 yesterday, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The difference shrank for the third time in four days, signaling reduced losses for refiners turning oil into residual products.

The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to 380-centistoke grade declined 50 cents to $11.75 a metric ton, PVM data showed. This viscosity spread is the narrowest since Nov. 21, meaning bunker, or marine fuel, has climbed less than higher-quality fuel oil.

Light Distillates

Shell purchased two gasoline cargoes from Gunvor Group Ltd., according to a Bloomberg survey of traders monitoring transactions on the Platts window. Europe’s biggest oil company paid $116.20 a barrel to load 97-RON grade from Jan. 13 to Jan. 17 and $114.50 for a 95-RON shipment for Jan. 14 to Jan. 18.

Shell also bought an open-specification forward naphtha contract for second-half February delivery from Vitol Group, paying $915 a ton, the survey showed.

Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures rebounded $6.08 to $99.23 a ton at 5:46 p.m. Singapore time, based on Bloomberg data. This crack spread, a measure of profit from making the petrochemical feedstock, is the widest in four days.

Middle Distillates

Shell sold 250,000 barrels of gasoil, or diesel, with 0.5 percent sulfur to Total SA, according to the Bloomberg survey. The cargo, for loading between Jan. 11 and Jan. 15, changed hands at 60 cents a barrel above January prices. Shell has sold at least 1.4 million barrels of this grade so far this month, more than any company in Singapore.

Gasoil’s premium to Dubai crude fell 63 cents to $17.44 a barrel at 4:46 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM. This crack spread is the smallest in four days.

Jet fuel’s premium to gasoil was unchanged after dropping to 40 cents a barrel, the lowest since April, PVM said. A narrower regrade shows it is less profitable to produce aviation fuel over diesel.

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