January 31, 2019 / 11:31 AM / 6 months ago

Asia Distillates-Gasoil margins rise in January, breaking two months of declines

    SINGAPORE, Jan 31 (Reuters) - Asian refining margins for 10ppm gasoil eased on Thursday, a
day after hitting a one-week high, as crude prices firmed, but posted their first month of gains
following two straight months of declines.
    Refining margins or cracks for gasoil with 10ppm sulphur content were at
$13.89 a barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trade, down from $14.22 a barrel on Wednesday. 
    Crude oil prices rose on Thursday, pushed up by lower imports into the United States amid
OPEC efforts to tighten the market, and as Venezuela struggles to keep up its crude exports
after Washington imposed sanctions on the nation.
    The benchmark gasoil margins have risen about 11 percent in January, the biggest monthly
gain since August 2018. 
    Lacklustre demand amid availability of ample supplies, however, has kept the current
refining margins for the industrial fuel about 15 percent lower than this time last year.
    Cash discounts for 10ppm gasoil GO10-SIN-DIF were at 42 cents a barrel to Singapore quotes
on Thursday, compared with a discount of 34 cents per barrel a day earlier.
    Meanwhile, cash discounts for jet fuel narrowed to their smallest in over two weeks, buoyed
by expectations for a tighter market going forward as some refineries in the region are
scheduled to go for spring maintenance.
    Jet cash discounts JET-SIN-DIF were at $1.42 a barrel to Singapore quotes on Thursday,
compared with a discount of $1.55 a barrel on Wednesday.
    The February/March time spread for the aviation fuel narrowed for the fourth
consecutive session to a discount of 40 cents a barrel on Thursday, their slimmest in three
weeks. They were at a discount of 57 cents on Wednesday.
    Refining margins for jet, which also determines the profitability of
closely-related kerosene, edged higher to $14.24 a barrel over Dubai crude, 18 cents higher from
    - Singapore onshore middle-distillate stocks fell 4.6 percent to 11.8 million barrels in the
week to Jan. 30, according to data from Enterprise Singapore released on Thursday.
    - The inventories have averaged 11.9 million barrels in the first five weeks of this year,
having averaged 9.6 million barrels a week in 2018. In 2017, the weekly average was about 12
million barrels, Reuters calculations showed.
    - Overall, onshore middle-distillate inventories were about 27 percent higher year on year.
    - Light distillates stocks dropped 169,000 barrels to a two-week low of 15.7 million barrels
in week ended Wednesday, while fuel oil stocks rose 478,000 barrels to a six-week high of 20.3
million barrels.
    - U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose less than expected last week due to a drop in imports,
while gasoline and distillate inventories fell as refiners slowed down production, the Energy
Information Administration said on Wednesday.
    - Crude inventories rose 919,000 barrels in the week to Jan. 25, compared with
analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.2 million barrels.
    - Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell 1.1 million
barrels, versus expectations for a 1.4 million-barrel drop, the EIA data showed.
    - No gasoil deals, no jet fuel trades.
    - For more information, please click   
    - Iranian crude oil imports by Asia's top four buyers dropped to the lowest volume in three
years in 2018 amid U.S. sanctions on Tehran, but China and India stepped up imports in December
after getting waivers from Washington. 
    Asia's top four buyers of Iranian crude - China, India, Japan and South Korea - imported a
total 1.31 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018, down 21 percent from the previous year, data
from the countries showed.
    - PetroChina Co plans to drop Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) as a partner in a planned
$10 billion oil refinery and petrochemical project in southern China, said three sources
familiar with the matter this week. 
    The company's decision adds to state-owned PDVSA's woes after the United States imposed
sanctions on the company on Jan. 28 to undermine the rule of Venezuelan President Nicolas

 CASH ($/T)             ASIA CLOSE         Change   % Change    Prev Close  RIC
 Spot Gas Oil 0.5%                  72.62     0.44        0.61       72.18  GO-SIN
 GO 0.5 Diff                        -3.05    -0.03        0.99       -3.02  GO-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.25%                 73.22     0.34        0.47       72.88  GO25-SIN
 GO 0.25 Diff                       -2.45    -0.13        5.60       -2.32  GO25-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.05%                 73.62     0.44        0.60       73.18  GO005-SIN
 GO 0.05 Diff                       -2.05    -0.03        1.49       -2.02  GO005-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.001%                75.25     0.39        0.52       74.86  GO10-SIN
 GO 0.001 Diff                      -0.42    -0.08       23.53       -0.34  GO10-SIN-DIF
 Spot Jet/Kero                      74.55     1.05        1.43       73.50  JET-SIN
 Jet/Kero Diff                      -1.42     0.13       -8.39       -1.55  JET-SIN-DIF
 For a list of derivatives prices, including margins, please                                
 double click the RICs below.                                               
 Brent M1                                                                                   
 Gasoil M1                                                                                  
 Gasoil M1/M2                                                                               
 Gasoil M2                                                                                  
 Regrade M1                                                                                 
 Regrade M2                                                                                 
 Jet M1                                                                                     
 Jet M1/M2                                                                                  
 Jet M2                                                                                     
 Gasoil 500ppm-Dubai                                                                        
 Cracks M1                                                                  
 Gasoil 500ppm-Dubai                                                                        
 Cracks M2                                                                  
 Jet Cracks M1                                                                              
 Jet Cracks M2                                                                              
 East-West M1                                                                               
 East-West M2                                                                               
 LGO M1                                                                                     
 LGO M1/M2                                                                                  
 LGO M2                                                                                     
 Crack LGO-Brent M1                                                                         
 Crack LGO-Brent M2                                                                         
 (Reporting by Koustav Samanta; Editing by Mark Potter)
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