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Asia distillates-gasoil cracks post biggest weekly drop in over 3 years

January 13/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) - Asian refining margins for 10 ppm gasoil fell on Friday, posting their biggest weekly decline in more than three years, weighed down by muted buying interest as the market awaits an expected demand boost following a switch to cleaner fuels in the shipping sector, said Reuters.

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has banned ships from using fuels with a sulphur content above 0.5%, effective Jan. 1, and a section of ship-owners are expected to switch to marine gasoil (MGO) to adhere with the new rules. But some ship-owners and operators, especially those with larger ships, strongly prefer very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) over MGO due to technical issues related to running on distillate fuel as opposed to heavy fuels. Traders, however, are optimistic that gasoil demand would pick up steadily over next few months as the availability of existing VLSFO supplies shrink. Refining margins, also known as cracks, for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur content plunged to USD13.98 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trade on Friday, down from USD14.95 per barrel a day earlier. Cracks for the benchmark gasoil grade in Singapore have dropped about 13.4% this week in their steepest weekly decline since August 2016, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

Cash premiums for 10 ppm gasoil, which have dropped 59% over the last two weeks, were at 37 cents per barrel over Singapore quotes on Friday, 1 cent higher compared with Thursday. Meanwhile, cash differentials for jet fuel were at a discount of 15 cents per barrel to Singapore quotes, compared with a 11-cent discount in the previous session. Refining margins for jet fuel fell to USD12.79 per barrel over Dubai crude on Friday, their lowest in more than eight months. They were at USD13.55 a barrel.

Global air passenger traffic for November showed demand rose 3.3% compared with the same month a year earlier, but stayed below the long-term trend, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday. - "November's moderate result reflects the continuing influence of slower economic activity, geopolitical tensions and other disruptions, including strikes in Europe," Alexandre de Juniac, chief executive officer of IATA said in a statement. "On the plus side, positive developments in the U.S.-China trade talks, in tandem with signs of improving business confidence, could support an uptick in travel demand," he added. - Passenger traffic for Asia-Pacific airlines increased 3.9% in November compared with the year-earlier period, slightly lower than the 4.2% annual growth recorded in October, IATA said. The Asia-Pacific region makes up more than a third of the global aviation market. - Among domestic passenger markets, Indian airlines experienced a return to double-digit growth for the first time since January 2019, as traffic rose 11.3% compared to November 2018, IATA said. - Domestic traffic in Japan rose 3.7% in November year-on-year, while airlines in China posted a rise of 5.3% in domestic traffic for the same period.

As MRC informed earlier, Asia is expected to receive up to 1.7 million tonnes of naphtha from the West, including Europe, the Mediterranean and the United States in January, which is more than 6% higher versus 2019's monthly average.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,904,410 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments increased from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,161,830 tonnes in January-November 2019, up by 7% year on year. Deliveries of all grades of propylene polymers increased, with the homopolymer PP segment accounting for the largest increase.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:natural gas, PP, PE, gas processing, petrochemistry.
Category:General News
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