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Asia Distillates-Jet fuel refining margins climb to 3-week high

    SINGAPORE, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Asian jet fuel refining margins rose to their strongest in
three weeks on Thursday, but traders were concerned any upside to the aviation fuel market would
be limited as long as long-haul international flights remain grounded due to COVID-19
restrictions.
    Refining margins, also known as cracks, for jet fuel in Singapore rose by 55
cents to $1.57 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, a level not seen since
Oct. 8. 
    The cracks for the aviation fuel, which have gained about 27% in the last week, have found
some support from a marginal improvement in regional aviation demand in recent weeks, with
China's domestic aviation fuel consumption rebounding to near pre-COVID-19 levels.
    The air travel bubbles or, 'green lanes' might help necessary business travels, but leisure
travel will not be able to come back this year, a Singapore-based trader said.
    "It's not clear how much better will 2021 be than 2020 (for the aviation fuel market). Even
if a vaccine is developed and announced, it will take a while before everyone receives it," she
added. 
    Cash differentials for jet fuel JET-SIN were at a discount of 59 cents a barrel to
Singapore quotes on Thursday, compared with a discount of 63 cents per barrel a day earlier.
    
    INVENTORIES
    - Singapore's middle distillate inventories rose 6.9% to 15.8 million barrels in the week to
Oct. 28, according to Enterprise Singapore data.
    - Weekly Singapore middle distillate inventories have averaged about 13.5 million barrels so
far in 2020, Reuters calculations showed. This week's stocks were 41.4% higher year-on-year.
    -  U.S. distillate stockpiles fell by 4.5 million barrels in the week to 156.2 million
barrels in the week to Oct. 23, versus expectations for a 2.1 million-barrel drop, the U.S.
Energy Information Administration data showed on Wednesday.
    
    SINGAPORE CASH DEALS
    - No jet fuel trade, no gasoil deals
    
    OTHER NEWS
    - China's Unipec, the trading arm of state-owned Sinopec, has loaded a very
large crude carrier (VLCC) with diesel and is set to ship it to the West next month, two
industry sources said on Thursday.
    - Indian refiners have turned their focus to raising production of petrochemicals to cater
for rising demand and help hedge against lower refined fuel margins, the country's oil secretary
and company officials said on Wednesday.
    
    ASSESSMENTS    
 MID-DISTILLATES                                                                         
 CASH ($/T)             ASIA CLOSE       Change   % Change   Prev Close   RIC
 Spot Gas Oil 0.5%                40.69    -0.59      -1.43        41.28  GO-SIN
 GO 0.5 Diff                      -1.51    -0.03       2.03        -1.48  GO-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.25%               40.99    -0.59      -1.42        41.58  GO25-SIN
 GO 0.25 Diff                     -1.21    -0.03       2.54        -1.18  GO25-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.05%               41.19    -0.59      -1.41        41.78  GO005-SIN
 GO 0.05 Diff                     -1.01    -0.03       3.06        -0.98  GO005-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.001%              41.67    -0.51      -1.21        42.18  GO10-SIN
 GO 0.001 Diff                    -0.53     0.05      -8.62        -0.58  GO10-SIN-DIF
 Spot Jet/Kero                    39.78    -0.37      -0.92        40.15  JET-SIN
 Jet/Kero Diff                    -0.59     0.04      -6.35        -0.63  JET-SIN-DIF
                                                                                         
 For a list of derivatives prices, including margins, please double                      
 click the RICs below.                                                    
 Brent M1                                                                                
 Gasoil M1                                                                               
 Gasoil M1/M2                                                                            
 Gasoil M2                                                                               
 Regrade M1                                                                              
 Regrade M2                                                                              
 Jet M1                                                                                  
 Jet M1/M2                                                                               
 Jet M2                                                                                  
 Gasoil 500ppm-Dubai                                                                     
 Cracks M1                                                                
 Gasoil 500ppm-Dubai                                                                     
 Cracks M2                                                                
 Jet Cracks M1                                                                           
 Jet Cracks M2                                                                           
 East-West M1                                                                            
 East-West M2                                                                            
 LGO M1                                                                                  
 LGO M1/M2                                                                               
 LGO M2                                                                                  
 Crack LGO-Brent M1                                                                      
 Crack LGO-Brent M2                                                                      
 
 (Reporting by Koustav Samanta; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)
  
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