SINGAPORE- Asian refining margins for jet fuel rose on Tuesday to reach their highest level in more than a year, buoyed by hopes of a gradual recovery in aviation demand as Western countries increasingly ease COVID-19 lockdowns.
Still, restrictions on 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.
Steady vaccination rollouts and reduced infection rates in the United States and Europe are allowing commercial travel to resume.
Refining margins for jet fuel rose 6 cents to $6.34 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, the strongest since March 2020.
Scheduled seat capacity for global airlines was 43.4% lower in the week to Monday compared with the corresponding week in pre-pandemic 2019, but 98.4% higher than this week last year, according to aviation data firm OAG.
In a clear disparity between markets in terms of flight bookings, U.S. passengers booked about 800,000 more flight seats in the week ended Monday on-week, OAG data showed, while India had 275,000 fewer seats and Japan was down by about 347,000.
TOP U.S. FUEL PIPELINE REMAINS DAYS FROM REOPENING
- The biggest U.S. gasoline pipeline will not resume full operations for several more days due to a ransomware cyberattack blamed on a shadowy criminal network called DarkSide.
- The attack on the Colonial Pipeline, which carries nearly half the fuel consumed along the U.S. East Coast, is one of the most disruptive digital ransom schemes ever reported.
- Sri Lanka's Ceylon Petroleum Corp (Ceypetco) is seeking 280,000 barrels of 500 ppm gasoil for delivery in Colombo over June 25-26 on a DAP basis. The tender closes on May 25 and will remain valid for three days.
- Ceypetco was also seeking a combined cargo of 187,500 barrels of 500 ppm gasoil and 120,000 barrels of jet fuel for July 18-19 delivery. The tender closes on May 18 and has a validity of three days.
- 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.
(Reporting by Koustav Samanta; Editing by Susan Fenton) ((email@example.com)(+65 6870 3503)(Reuters Messaging: firstname.lastname@example.org))