Wednesday, October 16th, 2019
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Asia's gasoline crack neared a two-week high of $9.71 a barrel on Thursday as supplies were tightening due to refinery maintenance and overall firm demand. Demand from Indonesia is expected to stay strong as state energy firm PT Pertamina needs to plug a supply gap caused by maintenance at its Cilacap refinery, which started last month.

India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) has also been regularly seeking imports this year as refineries in the country undergo upgrading works so that they can produce cleaner fuels.

In Taiwan, Formosa is expected to lower its October average run rates at its 540,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery in Mailiao to around 70 percent of its capacity due to a planned maintenance at a secondary unit, which started on October 1.

This could also affect its gasoline production as fuel oil feedstock availability would be reduced if Formosa's crude units throughput are lowered.

Vietnam's Nghi Son will be carrying out planned maintenance at its 200,000 barrels per day refinery in late October for 40 to 50 days.

US gasoline stocks USOILG=ECI fell by 228,000 barrels last week, according to the Energy Information Administration

Singapore's onshore stocks, which comprise mostly gasoline and blending components for petrol, edged up 74,000 barrels to reach a three-week high of 10.1 million barrels in the week to Oct. 2, data from Enterprise Singapore showed.

The current level, however, was 10% lower than a year ago, the data showed.

Asia's naphtha intermonth timespread persisted at multi-year high on strong demand.

Naphtha price for second-half November was $18 higher than the following month, making this the widest intermonth gap since May 27, 2014.

Chinese CNOOC was in the market looking to buy up to 80,000 tonnes of naphtha for second-half November delivery.

This came at a time when spot premiums have surged to levels not seen since the first half of 2018 in the past two weeks.

Japan's Asahi Kasei had in early week paid around $19 a tonne premium to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis for naphtha scheduled for November delivery.

Copyright Reuters, 2019

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