Dec. 27 (Bloomberg) -- Asia’s naphtha crack spread advanced to the widest in seven weeks, signaling increased profit for refiners. Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold gasoil cargoes in Singapore, the region’s largest oil-trading center.
The premium of Japan naphtha to London-traded Brent crude futures climbed $15.93 to $124.13 a metric ton at 5 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, is at the widest since Nov. 7.
Vitol Group bought 50,000 barrels of 95-RON gasoline from Phillips 66 in Singapore for Jan. 11 to Jan. 15, the earliest loading period, according to a Bloomberg News survey of traders who monitored transactions on the Platts window. The cargo changed hands at $123.10 a barrel.
Shell sold two 150,000-barrel shipments of gasoil, or diesel, with 0.5 percent sulfur, according to the Bloomberg survey. Europe’s biggest oil company gave Vitol a discount of $2.30 a barrel to benchmark quotes for Jan. 22 to Jan. 26 loading, and a similar discount against January prices to Hin Leong Trading Pte for Jan. 21 to Jan. 25 loading.
Gasoil’s premium to Asian marker Dubai crude dropped 8 cents to $19.47 a barrel at 2:08 p.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread, a gauge of processing profit, shrank for a third day.
Jet fuel was unchanged after rising to a premium of 20 cents a barrel to gasoil, PVM said. A positive regrade shows it is more profitable to make aviation fuel over diesel.
Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude shrank 64 cents to $7.83 a barrel at 2:08 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM. That’s the narrowest crack spread in five days, indicating reduced losses for refiners producing residual fuels.
The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to 380-centistoke grade, or the viscosity spread, was unchanged for a seventh day at $10.25 a ton, PVM data showed. This means bunker, or marine fuel, moved in tandem with supplies used in power stations.
Singapore’s onshore inventories of residual fuels decreased 534,000 barrels, or 2.7 percent, to 19.5 million in the week to yesterday, according to a unit of the Ministry of Trade and Industry. Stockpiles including fuel oil and low-sulfur waxy residue and excluding bitumen were the lowest in 10 weeks.
Pakistan State Oil Co. bought 520,000 tons of high-sulfur fuel oil and 110,000 tons of low-sulfur grade for January and February delivery, according to two traders who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.
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