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Asia Naphtha Profit Drops; PetroChina Sells Gasoil: Oil Products

02 Feb 2012

Asia’s naphtha crack spread fell to the lowest in a week, signaling reduced profit for refiners. PetroChina Co. sold gasoil cargoes in Singapore, the region’s largest oil-trading center.

Light Distillates

Naphtha’s premium to London-traded Brent-crude futures dropped to $118.14 a metric ton at 3 p.m. Singapore time from $131 yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. This crack spread, a measure of refining profit, is the narrowest since Jan. 25.

Glencore International Plc sold 25,000 tons of open-specification naphtha for first-half April delivery to Royal Dutch Shell Plc at $980 a ton, based on a Bloomberg News survey of traders who monitored transactions on the Platts window.

Total SA sold 50,000 barrels of 95-RON gasoline to BP Plc at $125.80 a barrel, the survey showed. Europe’s biggest refiner also sold 50,000 barrels of 92-RON grade to Vitol Group at $122.90 a barrel. Vitol bought another cargo of the same variety from Mercuria Energy Ltd. at $123.50 a barrel.

Middle Distillates

PetroChina Co. sold 150,000 barrels of gasoil, or diesel, with 10 parts-per-million of sulfur to Hin Leong Trading Pte, according to the Bloomberg survey. The cargo, for loading from Feb. 19 to Feb. 23, changed hands at $2.30 a barrel over benchmark quotes. That’s the smallest premium reported in Singapore so far this year for ultra-low-sulfur diesel.

PetroChina also sold 150,000 barrels of 0.5 percent sulfur gasoil to BP at 40 cents a barrel over quotes, the survey showed. Trafigura Beheer BV bought a similar cargo from Shell at a 20-cent premium. Both cargoes are for Feb. 17 to Feb. 21, the earliest loading period.

Gasoil’s premium to Asian marker Dubai crude rose 15 cents to $18.65 a barrel at 2:41 p.m. Singapore time, based on data from PVM Oil Associates Ltd., a broker. This crack spreadwidened for the first time in three days.

Jet fuel fell 5 cents to 15 cents a barrel below gasoil, PVM data showed. This regrade has been negative since Jan. 16, indicating it is unprofitable to produce aviation fuel over diesel.

Fuel Oil

Hin Leong purchased two 20,000-ton cargoes of 380-centistoke fuel oil, according to the Bloomberg survey. The Singapore trader paid $14.50 a ton over benchmark quotes to Lukoil OAO and a $13.50 premium to Kuo Oil Ltd. for the shipments, loading Feb. 17 to Feb. 21.

Fuel oil rebounded 59 cents to $1.27 a barrel below Dubai crude at 2:41 p.m. Singapore time, based on PVM data. Yesterday’s discount was the biggest since Jan. 13, signaling losses for refiners turning oil into residual products.

The premium of 180-centistoke fuel oil to 380-centistoke grade climbed 75 cents to $10.50 a ton, PVM said. This viscosity spread narrowed $3.50 in the previous four days, meaning bunker, or marine fuel, declined less than higher-quality fuel oil.