SINGAPORE- Asia's naphtha and gasoline cracks slipped on Tuesday, weighed down by rising supplies and weakening demand in parts of the region due to mobility restrictions following resurgence in COVID-19 cases.
India's top state oil refiners are reducing processing runs and crude imports as the surging COVID-19 pandemic has cut fuel consumption, leading to higher product stockpiles at the plants, company officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
M.K. Surana, chairman of Hindustan Petroleum Corp, expects India's fuel consumption in May to fall by 5% from April although the impact on driving and industrial production is not as severe as last year.
Key Japan cities remained under a state of emergency while some southeast Asian countries are grappling with rising cases.
The Asian market did not react much to the tightening of gasoline supplies and prices in the United States following the shutdown of the nation's biggest fuel pipeline by hackers as Europe would be first to meet U.S. demand when it arises, traders said.
Fewer refineries in Europe are shut which is likely to lead to higher naphtha exports to Asia and depress prices, Marex analyst Du Yuting said in a note.
South Korea's Lotte Chemical issued a tender seeking naphtha for first half July delivery, a trader said.
U.S. gasoline prices at the pump jumped 6 cents in the latest week, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA), and could soon be headed for the highest level since 2014 due to a cyber attack that shut down the country's biggest fuel pipeline system.
Limited long-distance flights and a resurgence in COVID-19 cases in India will keep jet fuel demand below pre-pandemic levels over the coming months, even as the easing of lockdowns in other parts of the world boosts demand for the aviation fuel.
(Reporting by Florence Tan, editing by Ed Osmond) ((Florence.Tan@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))