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Asia Distillates-Jet fuel cash discounts widen on muted trade activity

    SINGAPORE, Jan 27 (Reuters) - Asia's cash differentials for jet fuel weakened on Wednesday,
amid muted buying interest in the physical trade window, while refining profit margins for the
aviation fuel dropped on firmer feedstock crude prices.
    Cash discounts for jet fuel JET-SIN-DIF widened by a cent to 27 cents per barrel to
Singapore quotes on Wednesday.
    Traders were concerned the already-battered aviation market would be likely to remain under
pressure in the near-term as several countries have tightened border restrictions and renewed
travel bans to contain the pandemic.
    "Although now vaccines are being deployed around the world, different countries will be
vaccinated at different speed, and it would be different stages of recovery from COVID-19.
Hence, travelling will still be very limited," a Singapore-based jet fuel trader said.
    Next month's Lunar New Year holidays, which is typically a peak travelling season, are
expected to be low key this year, especially as China battles a new wave of coronavirus cases.

    To limit the spread of COVID-19, the Chinese government has discouraged travel in what is
normally the busiest time of the year. As a result, airline bookings made as of Jan. 19 for
Lunar New Year travel have plunged 73.7% compared with the holiday period in 2019, according to
data from travel analytics firm ForwardKeys provided to Reuters. 
    Refining margins, also known as cracks, for jet fuel slipped to $3.12 per
barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, down from $3.26 per barrel on Tuesday.
    
    INVENTORIES
    - Middle-distillate inventories in the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone climbed 16% to 4.5 million
barrels in the week ended Jan. 25, data via S&P Global Platts showed.
    - The weekly stocks in Fujairah have averaged 4.3 million barrels so far this year, compared
with weekly averages of 4.2 million barrels in 2020, and 2.4 million barrels in 2019, Reuters
calculations showed.
    - U.S. distillate fuel inventories, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 1.4
million barrels in the week to Jan. 22, compared with expectations for a draw of 361,000
barrels,  data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.
    
    SINGAPORE CASH DEALS
    - No gasoil deals, no jet fuel trades
    
    OTHER NEWS
    - Iranian oil exports are climbing in January after a boost in the fourth quarter despite
U.S. sanctions, three assessments showed, in a sign that the end of Donald Trump's term as U.S.
President may be changing buyer behaviour.
    
    
    ASSESSMENTS
 MID-DISTILLATES                                                                             
 CASH ($/T)                ASIA CLOSE       Change   % Change   Prev Close   RIC
 Spot Gas Oil 0.5%                   59.39     0.65       1.11        58.74  GO-SIN
 GO 0.5 Diff                          -1.7     0.01      -0.58        -1.71  GO-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.25%                  59.49     0.65       1.10        58.84  GO25-SIN
 GO 0.25 Diff                         -1.6     0.01      -0.62        -1.61  GO25-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.05%                  59.76     0.65       1.10        59.11  GO005-SIN
 GO 0.05 Diff                        -1.33     0.01      -0.75        -1.34  GO005-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.001%                 60.81     0.65       1.08        60.16  GO10-SIN
 GO 0.001 Diff                       -0.28     0.01      -3.45        -0.29  GO10-SIN-DIF
 Spot Jet/Kero                        58.4     0.44       0.76        57.96  JET-SIN
 Jet/Kero Diff                       -0.27    -0.01       3.85        -0.26  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 Jane Merriman)
  
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