Asian jet fuel refining margins climbed on Tuesday, despite firmer feedstock crude prices, as traders were hoping the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, which has so far shown mild symptoms, would not be substantially disruptive to demand recovery.
Refining margins or cracks for jet fuel were at $10.32 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, up from $10.05 per barrel a day earlier.
Scheduled capacity for global airlines in December currently stands at 366.2 million seats, which is 12% higher compared to November capacity, according to aviation data firm OAG.
"While just over 4 million seats have come out of the December schedule over the past week, this is within the range that has been seen recently and it does not appear that airlines have made large-scale schedule changes in response to concerns about the new Omicron variant," OAG said in a statement.
Japan's flight capacity rose 3% in the week to Monday, while seat capacity in India and Australia this week were up 0.8% and 13.7% respectively, OAG data showed.
Cash premiums for jet fuel slipped 11 cents to 36 cents per barrel to Singapore quotes on Tuesday amid muted buying interest for physical cargoes, while Refinitiv data showed the Dec/Jan time spread for the aviation fuel traded at 33 cents per barrel.
AIR TRAVEL HOPES
- A nascent recovery in Asia-Pacific international travel demand has been set back by the Omicron variant as governments tighten rules, but airline bosses say they hope any backward moves will be short-lived.
- Qantas Airways Ltd expects to reach more than 115% of pre-COVID domestic capacity levels by April as Australian state borders open, Chief Executive Alan Joyce said on Tuesday.
SINGAPORE CASH DEALS O/AS
- No jet fuel trades, no gasoil deals
- Oil prices extended gains on Tuesday from a near 5% rebound the day before as concerns about the impact of the Omicron coronavirus variant on global fuel demand eased and Iran nuclear talks stalled, delaying the return of Iranian crude.
- China's imports of crude oil rebounded in November from the previous month's lows, but were still about 8% below the levels of a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, as fresh quotas let refiners bring in imports held in anchored vessels
(Reporting by Koustav Samanta; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)