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Asia Distillates-Jet fuel refining margins climb as crude prices drop

    SINGAPORE, April 21 (Reuters) - Asian jet fuel refining margins advanced on Wednesday,
though traders were concerned a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in major markets would dampen
recovery for the aviation sector.
    Refining margins, or cracks, for jet fuel climbed 30 cents to $4.69 per barrel
over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours as raw material crude prices fell amid worries that
surging virus cases in India will crimp fuel demand.
    With fresh waves of coronavirus in key Asian markets, including Japan, South Korea and
Thailand, the border restrictions would continue to be mostly in place, forcing the majority of
international flights to remain grounded, market watchers said.
    The jet fuel cracks have gained about 44% over the last one month as pockets of aviation
demand emerged, but they are still more than 60% lower than their levels for this time of the
year in pre-pandemic 2019.
    "Increased travel restriction has derailed Eid holiday plans threatening the nascent jet
fuel recovery, while new waves crashing onshore in Japan will likely lead to more state
emergency requests," said Stephen Innes, chief market strategist at Axi.
    Air cargo demand, however, is expected to support the jet fuel market in the near term,
trade sources said. 
    
    TRADERS STOW GASOIL, JET FUEL ON SUPERTANKERS
    - Major oil trading companies are stowing diesel and jet fuel on newly built supertankers in
Asia and Africa in anticipation of COVID-19 vaccinations driving prices higher in the months
ahead despite the activity being less lucrative now than last year.
    - Trafigura, Glencore and Vitol are holding about 1.5 million tonnes of the industrial and
aviation fuel on at least seven Very Large Crude Carriers (VLCCs) off Singapore, Malaysia, Sri
Lanka and Africa, according to shipping sources and data from analytics firms Vortexa, Kpler and
Refinitiv.
    
    INVENTORIES
    - Middle-distillate inventories in the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone rose 4.7% to 3.2 million
barrels in the week ended April 19, data via S&P Global Platts showed.
    - The weekly stocks in Fujairah have averaged about 4 million barrels so far this year,
compared with 4.2 million barrels in 2020, Reuters calculations showed.
    - U.S. distillate fuel inventories, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 655,000
barrels in the week to April 16, according to two market sources, citing American Petroleum
Institute (API) figures.

    SINGAPORE CASH DEALS
    - Two gasoil deals, no jet fuel trades
    
    ASSESSMENTS
 MID-DISTILLATES                                                                       
 CASH ($/T)            ASIA CLOSE       Change   % Change   Prev Close  RIC
 Spot Gas Oil 0.5%               67.77    -1.86      -2.67       69.63  GO-SIN
 GO 0.5 Diff                     -1.89    -0.03       1.61       -1.86  GO-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.25%              67.93    -1.86      -2.67       69.79  GO25-SIN
 GO 0.25 Diff                    -1.73    -0.03       1.76        -1.7  GO25-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.05%              68.18    -1.86      -2.66       70.04  GO005-SIN
 GO 0.05 Diff                    -1.48    -0.03       2.07       -1.45  GO005-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.001%             69.24    -1.92      -2.70       71.16  GO10-SIN
 GO 0.001 Diff                   -0.43     -0.1      30.30       -0.33  GO10-SIN-DIF
 Spot Jet/Kero                   67.82    -1.65      -2.38       69.47  JET-SIN
 Jet/Kero Diff                   -0.11     0.01      -8.33       -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; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
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