Jan. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Asia’s naphtha crack spread rose for the first time in four days, signaling increased profit for refiners. Vitol Group sold gasoline and fuel oil in Singapore, the region’s biggest oil-trading center.
The premium of Japan naphtha to London-traded Brent crude futures rose $1.19 to $95.84 a metric ton at 5:21 p.m. Singapore time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread is a measure of the profit from making the petrochemical and gasoline feedstock.
Glencore International Plc sold 25,000 tons of open-specification naphtha for first-half March delivery to Itochu Corp. at $962 a ton, according to a Bloomberg News survey of traders who monitored the Platts window. The Swiss trader sold naphtha in Singapore for a fourth day.
PetroChina Co. bought two 50,000-barrel cargoes of 92-RON gasoline, the survey showed. Total SA sold one shipment for Jan. 18 to Jan. 22 loading at $120.60 a barrel and Gunvor Group Ltd. sold for Jan. 23 to Jan. 27 at $120.80 a barrel.
Vitol sold 50,000 barrels of 97-RON grade, loading Jan. 20 to Jan. 24, to Royal Dutch Shell Plc at $125.60 a barrel, according to the survey.
Gasoil’s premium to Asian marker Dubai crude dropped 5 cents to $19.35 a barrel at 2:16 p.m. Singapore time, according to data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. The difference, also known as the crack spread, narrowed for the third time in four days.
Jet fuel was unchanged after declining to a discount of 15 cents a barrel to gasoil, PVM said. A negative regrade shows it is unprofitable to make aviation fuel over diesel.
BP Plc sold two 20,000-ton cargoes of 180-centistoke high-sulfur fuel oil to Hin Leong Trading Pte at a discount of $3.75 a ton to benchmark quotes, according to the survey. The shipments are for Jan. 18 to Jan. 22 loading.
Vitol sold 40,000 tons of 380-centistoke grade to a unit of SK Innovation Co. at parity to average January prices, the survey showed. The cargo is for Jan. 20 to Jan. 24 loading.
Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude narrowed 4 cents to $7.71 a barrel at 2:16 p.m. Singapore time, according to PVM. This crack spread narrowed for a second day, indicating reduced losses for refiners producing residual fuels.
The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to 380-centistoke grade was unchanged for a third day at $8.75 a ton, PVM data showed. This viscosity spread has been at the narrowest since Nov. 8, 2011, meaning bunker, or marine fuel, decreased less than supplies used in power stations.
Asian ethylene producers will shut fewer crackers for maintenance in the first half of 2013 to gain from a forecast decline in Middle East exports of the plastics feedstock. About 1.935 million tons a year of ethylene capacity is scheduled to close over the first six months, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Bharat Petroleum Corp. restarted a crude distillation unit at its Kochi refinery late last month after completing planned maintenance work, said two company officials who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential. The 4.5 million ton-a-year unit at the southern Indian plant was closed for about a month.
CPC Corp. offered to sell as much as 680,000 barrels of gasoil and 150,000 barrels of kerosene for January and February loading from Kaohsiung, according to a statement on its website.
Bharat Petroleum offered to sell a total of 82,000 tons of paraffinic naphtha for January loading from Haldia and February loading from Mumbai, said two traders who asked not to be named because the information is confidential.
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