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Asian Product Markets & Refinery Operations - OCT 11

Source: OPEC 10/11/2011, Location: Asia

Asian light distillate cracks continued to be relatively healthy, despite increasing supply, on the back of strong regional demand amid lower stocks. The Asian naphtha market remained steady during the month as sentiment was supported by higher demand from South Korea, limited European inflows and expectations of lower Indian exports due to maintenance peaking this month. In the gasoline market, regional demand remained healthy, mainly from Indonesia. The strong demand was also reflected in Singapore light distillate stocks, which hit their lowest levels since 1Q09.

The gasoline crack spread against Dubai crude oil in Singapore increased by approximately $1 to stand at around $16/b in September, from $15/b in the previous month. Looking ahead, the supply situation in Asia is changing with the return of the Formosa complex, which should ease the supply balance and begin to exert pressure on the market. The gasoil crack spread in Singapore against Dubai remained relatively stable and declined on average by $1.8 from the previous month to stand around $19/b due to higher supplies coming from the Formosa refinery; however, the market got support from the strong regional demand, mainly from Indonesia, and expectations of increasing Chinese diesel demand as the fishing ban is coming to the end. At the bottom of the barrel, fuel oil cracks showed a loss of $1.7 to stand at minus 80¢/b in a bearish market, influenced by reports that Iran is expected to restart fuel oil exports after a natural gas shortage resulted in a halt in exports and the expectations of greater volumes flowing into Asia from the West.

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