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Asia Distillates-Jet fuel cracks strengthen further, cash discounts widen

    SINGAPORE, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Asian refining margins for jet fuel hit their highest in more
than nine months on Thursday, supported by a slow but steady recovery in aviation demand.
    Refining margins, or cracks, for jet fuel climbed 28 cents to $5.16 per barrel
over Dubai crude during Asian trade on Thursday, the strongest since March 13.
    Cracks for the aviation fuel have surged about 98% in the last month, Refinitiv Eikon data
showed.
    "The U.S. is providing an important outlet for Asian (jet fuel) barrels, and we expect this
to continue through year-end despite the slight easing of the U.S. jet demand recovery on rising
COVID-19 cases," consultancy Energy Aspects said in a note.
    "As supplies rise and the temporary support from the uptick in heating demand eases, Asian
jet markets will need a significant pickup in aviation demand outside of China in order to
strengthen further." 
    Cash differentials for jet fuel JET-SIN-DIF were at a discount of 14 cents a barrel to
Singapore quotes on Thursday, compared with a discount of 12 cents per barrel a day earlier.
    
    INVENTORIES
    - Singapore's middle distillate inventories rose 3% to 15.5 million barrels in the week to
Dec. 16, according to Enterprise Singapore data.
    - Weekly Singapore middle distillate inventories have averaged about 13.8 million barrels in
2020, Reuters calculations showed. This week's stocks were 42.6% higher from a year ago.
    - U.S. distillate stockpiles rose by 167,000 barrels in the week to Dec. 11, versus
expectations for an 886,000-barrel rise, the U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed
on Wednesday.
    
    TENDERS
    - Vietnam's Saigon Petro is seeking 10,000 cubic metres (around 63,000 barrels) of 500 ppm
gasoil for delivery into Cat Lai terminal over Jan. 18-22 on a CFR basis. The tender closes on
Dec. 21.
    
    SINGAPORE CASH DEALS
    - No jet fuel deals, no gasoil trades
    
    OTHER NEWS
    - Oil climbed to a nine-month high on Thursday after government data showed a fall in U.S.
crude stockpiles last week, while progress towards a U.S. fiscal stimulus deal and strong Asian
demand also buoyed prices.
    - Natixis expects oil-rich Gulf states to accelerate privatisations, including by
extracting revenue from oil assets, with Saudi Arabia and possibly Oman as likely candidates for
similar deals next year, the French bank's regional head said. 
    
    ASSESSMENTS
 MID-DISTILLATES                                                                         
 CASH ($/T)              ASIA CLOSE       Change   % Change   Prev Close  RIC
 Spot Gas Oil 0.5%                 56.04     1.03       1.87       55.01  GO-SIN
 GO 0.5 Diff                       -1.36     0.01      -0.73       -1.37  GO-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.25%                56.34     1.03       1.86       55.31  GO25-SIN
 GO 0.25 Diff                      -1.06     0.01      -0.93       -1.07  GO25-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.05%                56.42     0.98       1.77       55.44  GO005-SIN
 GO 0.05 Diff                      -0.98    -0.04       4.26       -0.94  GO005-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.001%               57.34     1.01       1.79       56.33  GO10-SIN
 GO 0.001 Diff                     -0.06    -0.01      20.00       -0.05  GO10-SIN-DIF
 Spot Jet/Kero                     55.98     1.05       1.91       54.93  JET-SIN
 Jet/Kero Diff                     -0.14    -0.02      16.67       -0.12  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, Additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan; Editing by Amy Caren
Daniel)
  
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