The Asian market continued bearish in July, due to weakness seen at the top of the barrel, resulting from pressure by the ongoing oversupply in the region. In addition, the middle of the barrel also weakened due to gasoil demand being impacted by bad weather conditions, mainly in China, causing refinery margins to fall sharply despite the strengthening witnessed at the bottom of the barrel, which received support from boosted demand resulting from the onset of power generation requirements.
The Asian gasoline market continued weakening during July, pressured by ongoing oversupply, with Asian refiners increasing inflows within the region, mainly from Taiwan, India and China, and with export quotas for the Chinese refineries being on the rise. These increasing exports outweighed the higher requirements being reported from East Africa, mainly Kenya and Tanzania. Another bearish factor was the persistently high level of inventories in Singapore. The gasoline crack spread against Oman crude in Singapore averaged $6/b in July, losing almost $4 compared to the previous month’s level. The weak market allowed for unusual arbitrage flows to Latin America, mainly to Peru and Mexico, where refinery outages caused increasing imports of gasoline in recent weeks.
The Singapore naphtha crack continued its downward trend, losing around $1/b over the month, due to a continued supply glut with increasing volumes coming from the condensate splitter, which re-started operations in Singapore. On the other hand, demand was impacted by reduced imports from Japan due to the outage of a cracker unit along with the move to more petrochemical sector consolidation seen during the previous months in Japan.
At the middle of the barrel, the gasoil crack spread exhibited a sharp loss, pressured by plentiful supply with refineries returning from maintenance while demand was seen as limited, mainly in China, as it has been impacted by bad weather conditions, including heavy rains, floods and typhoons.
The abundant regional supplies have pressured the market by outweighing some additional demand emerging from Vietnam, the Philippines and from West Africa, while arbitrage opportunities to Europe have been limited.
The gasoil crack spread in Singapore against Oman averaged around $8.4/b in July, losing around $4 compared to the previous month’s level.
The Asian fuel oil market strengthened, receiving support from the slim arbitrage inflows seen in the last weeks amid falling import volumes from Russia, which has fueled the tightening sentiment in the market. Additional support came from higher demand for power generation in South Korea, China and Japan, where warmer-thanaverage temperatures have boosted power generation requirements. The fuel oil crack spread in Singapore against Oman averaged about minus $6/b in July, gaining more than $3 from the previous month.