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Asian Product Markets and Refinery Operations – August 2015

Source: OPEC 8/30/2015, Location: Asia

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The Asian market weakened during July, due to seasonally lower regional demand amid the winding down of refinery maintenance, which has exerted pressure from the supply side and caused refinery margins to sharply drop.

The Singapore gasoline crack reversed its upward trend during July, falling sharply as it came under pressure from both sides of the market; on the demand side, buying from Indonesia and Saudi Arabia softened following the end of Ramadan, while buying interest from India has been reduced during the last weeks.

On the other hand, higher regional supplies via the winding down of refinery maintenance have exerted further pressure on the market.

The gasoline crack spread against Dubai crude in Singapore lost almost $3 versus the previous month to average $16/b in July. However, further losses were limited by some support coming from the strong buying by North and East African importers.

The Singapore naphtha crack lost the recovery seen last month, due to pressure from the supply side with higher inflows and expectations of western volumes remaining on the rise in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, demand has not lent support due to cracker capacity off line, with maintenance in Taiwan, Japan and China. However, cracker maintenance is expected to ease in the region in the coming month. The naphtha crack spread lost around $2/b in July.

At the middle of the barrel, gasoil cracks continued their downward trend during July, pressured by the supply side, with some refineries coming back from maintenance amid seasonally lower regional demand.

Oversupply is fueling bearish sentiment as increasing supplies are exerting pressure on the regional gasoil market. Asian exports have started facing increasingly stiff competition to export westwards, as supplies from the US into Europe are being joined by increasing Middle Eastern and Russian volumes. Russia has been increasing the export capacity of ULSD, while the Yasref Yanbu refinery has put around 50 tb/d of additional diesel onto the market.

The gasoil crack spread in Singapore against Dubai lost more than $3 versus the previous month’s level to average around $12/b in July.

The fuel oil market continued to weaken during July, due to continued pressure from plentiful supplies amid bunkering activity slowing down, with higher inventories in Singapore fuelling bearish sentiment.

The fuel oil crack spread in Singapore against Dubai lost more than $2 to average around minus $9/b in July.

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