Asia Naphtha Crack Slips; Fuel-Oil Discount Widens: Oil Products

Spencer Ogden our consultant managing the role
Date posted08/Dec/2011
Spencer Ogden our consultant managing the role

Asia’s naphtha crack spread narrowed.Fuel oil’s discount to crude widened, signaling refiners’ losses from turning oil into residual products are growing.

Light Distillates

Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent crude futures fell to $75 a ton from $85 a ton at the end of Asian trading yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Japan’s open-specification naphtha forward contracts for second-half January delivery were bid at $909 a ton against offers at $912, based on data from Ginga Petroleum Singapore Pte, a broker. The petrochemical feedstock closed yesterday at $919.75. Prices have gained for eight days, the longest rising streak since April.

Gasoline’s premium to naphtha yesterday dropped to $12 a barrel, the lowest since May 27, Bloomberg data showed. A narrower reforming margin indicates it is less profitable to produce motor fuel.

Middle Distillates

The premium of gasoil, or diesel, to Asian marker Dubai crude fell 37 cents to $18.58 a barrel, according to PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spread narrowed for the third time in four days.

Gasoil swaps for January dropped $1.35, or 1.1 percent, to $125.10 a barrel, PVM said. That’s the largest decline since Nov. 21. Jet fuel’s premium to gasoil lost 15 cents to 95 cents, the lowest so far this month. A narrower regrade shows it is less profitable to make aviation fuel over diesel.

Fuel Oil

Fuel oil’s discount to Dubai crude widened 14 cents to $6.14 a barrel, according to PVM. That’s the biggest gap since Sept. 14.

January high-sulfur fuel oil swaps decreased $7.25, or 1.1 percent, to $652.50 a ton, based on PVM data. Prices are the lowest since Nov. 22. The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to 380-centistoke grade, or the viscosity spread, was unchanged after climbing to $14.25. This means bunker, or marine fuel, moved in tandem with higher-quality fuel oil.

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