NEW DELHI- Asia's gasoline crack gained for a second straight session on Wednesday on hopes of a weekly decline in U.S. inventories, while a series of trades on the window lifted prices for the benchmark 92-octane grade.
The crack climbed to $7.72 a barrel from $7.36 in the last session.
In physical markets, demand for both higher and benchmark grades remained firm. There were six gasoline trades. Vitol purchased three cargoes of the benchmark grade, while Total bought the remaining three 95-octane grade.
By contrast, naphtha crack in the region eased from five-week highs after data showed a 1.2% increase in stockpiles at the Fujairah Oil Industry Zone.
The crack fell to $139.90 a tonne from $141.43 in the previous session.
"Rising naphtha prices risk to erode cracker margins, adding downside risks to cracker runs in Asia and Europe," Vortexa said in a note to clients.
U.S. gasoline inventories fell by 432,000 barrels for the week ended Sept. 17, according to market sources, citing American Petroleum Institute figures.
Stocks of light distillates, including gasoline and naphtha, rose by 60,000 barrels on the week to 4.957 million barrels.
- Japanese ethylene production in August fell 5.1% from the same month a year earlier to 515,900 tonnes, data from the Japan Petrochemical Industry Association showed on Wednesday.
- Oil prices climbed more than $1 on Wednesday, extending overnight gains after industry data showed U.S. crude stocks fell more than expected last week in the wake of two hurricanes, highlighting tight supply as demand improves.
(Reporting by Mohi Narayan; Editing by Shailesh Kuber) ((Mohi.Narayan@thomsonreuters.com;))