MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asian refining margins for jet fuel decreased for a second straight session on Friday, weighed by worries that renewed coronavirus lockdowns in several markets would dampen aviation demand recovery, reported Reuters.
Refining margins, or cracks, for jet fuel dropped to USD4.59 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, 15 cents lower from Thursday. Jet cracks have gained 10% this week, but still remain 63% lower than the ten-year seasonal average for this time of the year, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.
While pockets of demand have emerged from some domestic routes, a majority of international flights remain grounded due to prolonged border restrictions amid fresh virus waves in many parts of Asia. Business travel is still being avoided as much as possible across sectors.
Jet fuel supplies in the region are limited as refiners have kept a cap on production due to weaker refining margins, but persistent weakness in demand continues to put a damper on sentiment, market watchers said.
Cash discounts for jet fuel were at 36 cents a barrel to Singapore quotes on Friday, compared with a discount of 62 cents per barrel a day earlier.
As MRC informed before, slumping fuel consumption during the pandemic is accelerating the long-term shift of refining capacity from North America and Europe to Asia, and from older, smaller refineries to modern, higher-capacity mega-refineries. The result is a wave of closures, often centering on refineries that only narrowly survived the previous closure wave in the years after the recession in 2008/09.
We remind that PetroChina has nearly doubled the amount of Russian crude being processed at its refinery in Dalian, the company's biggest, since January 2018, as a new supply agreement had come into effect. The Dalian Petrochemical Corp, located in the northeast port city of Dalian, was expected to process 13 million tonnes, or 260,000 bpd of Russian pipeline crude in 2018, up by about 85 to 90 percent from the previous year's level. Dalian has the capacity to process about 410,000 bpd of crude. The increase follows an agreement worked out between the Russian and Chinese governments under which Russia's top oil producer Rosneft was to supply 30 million tonnes of ESPO Blend crude to PetroChina in 2018, or about 600,000 bpd. That would have represented an increase of 50 percent over 2017 volumes.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated polyethylene (PE) consumption totalled 356,370 tonnes in the first two month of 2021, down by 9% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market was 246,870 tonnes in January-February 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.