Asia Distillates-Jet fuel cracks gain; virus resurgence seen denting demand

    SINGAPORE, April 23 (Reuters) - Asia's refining margins for jet fuel rose on Friday,
climbing to their strongest level in more than two months, as pockets of demand led by China
supported the aviation fuel market.
    But traders were concerned the regional aviation sector would take a major hit in the near
term from soaring COVID-19 cases in India and Japan.
    Refining margins, or cracks, for jet fuel rose 45 cents to $5.69 per barrel
over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, a level not seen since Feb. 19. 
    The cracks, however, are still down more than 40%, compared with their five-year seasonal
average for this time of the year, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.
    Surging new waves of the virus in key markets would rattle the overall refining margins for
the aviation fuel in Asia as travellers refrain from flying, prompting cancellations for
domestic flights, market watchers said.
    Several countries, including Australia, Britain, Canada, and the United Arab Emirates, have
barred or cut flights from India.
    India, which has imposed lockdowns and night curfews in many states, reported the world's
highest daily tally of coronavirus cases for a second day on Friday, while Japan declared a
state of emergency in Tokyo, Osaka and two other prefectures on Friday in an attempt to combat
the virus.
    Cash discounts for jet fuel JET-SIN-DIF were at 6 cents a barrel to Singapore quotes,
compared with a 9-cent discount on Thursday.
    - Gasoil stocks held independently in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) refining and
storage hub STK-GO-ARA dropped 8.1% to a one-year low of 2.1 million tonnes in the week to
April 22, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed.
    - The data showed ARA jet fuel inventories STK-JET-ARA rose 1.5% to 875,000 tonnes.
    - Sri Lanka's Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) is seeking 280,500 barrels of 500 ppm gasoil
for delivery in Colombo over June 1-2 on a DAP basis. The tender closes on May 4 and will remain
valid for three days.
    - No gasoil deals, no jet fuel trades
    - Indian Oil Corp Ltd's (IOC) refineries are operating at about 95% of their
capacity, down from 100% at the same time last month, two sources familiar with the matter told
    - Oil prices climbed on Friday, buoyed by hopes demand will recover as economic growth picks
up and lockdowns ease, but worries about India's surging second wave of COVID-19 cases limited
 CASH ($/T)             ASIA CLOSE       Change   % Change   Prev Close  RIC
 Spot Gas Oil 0.5%                67.72     0.93       1.39       66.79  GO-SIN
 GO 0.5 Diff                      -1.87     0.03      -1.58        -1.9  GO-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.25%               67.88     0.93       1.39       66.95  GO25-SIN
 GO 0.25 Diff                     -1.71     0.03      -1.72       -1.74  GO25-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.05%               68.13     0.93       1.38        67.2  GO005-SIN
 GO 0.05 Diff                     -1.46     0.03      -2.01       -1.49  GO005-SIN-DIF
 Spot Gas Oil 0.001%              69.21     0.95       1.39       68.26  GO10-SIN
 GO 0.001 Diff                    -0.38     0.06     -13.64       -0.44  GO10-SIN-DIF
 Spot Jet/Kero                    68.14      1.1       1.64       67.04  JET-SIN
 Jet/Kero Diff                    -0.06     0.03     -33.33       -0.09  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 Amy Caren Daniel)