SINGAPORE, July 22 (Reuters) - Asia's cash differentials for 10 ppm gasoil flipped into a narrow premium on Thursday, supported by active buying interests for physical cargoes, while Singapore middle distillate inventories slipped to a six-week low. Cash differentials for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur contentwere at a premium of 2 cents per barrel on Thursday, the strongest level in more than a month. They were at a discount of 2 cents per barrel on Wednesday. Gasoil demand has come under renewed pressure due to a recent spike in coronavirus cases that has led to reimposed lockdowns in the region, but the demand disruption is partly offset by expectations for lower Chinese exports in July-August, a Singapore-based trader said. The gasoil market would likely stay rangebound in the near term until demand picks up substantially, trade sources said. Refining margins, or cracks, for 10 ppm gasoil dropped to $8.09 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours, down from $8.23 per barrel a day earlier. Cracks for the benchmark gasoil grade in Singapore, which have averaged $8.30 per barrel over the last two months, were currently about 38% lower compared with their five-year seasonal average for this time of the year, Refinitiv Eikon data showed. INVENTORIES - Singapore's middle distillate inventories dropped 1.6% to 11.3 million barrels in the week to July 21, according to Enterprise Singapore data. - Weekly Singapore middle distillate inventories have averaged 13.5 million barrels this year, compared with an average of 13.9 million barrels in 2020, Reuters calculations showed. This week's stocks were 19.9% lower than a year earlier. - U.S. distillate inventories, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 1.3 million barrels in the week to July 16, versus expectations for a 557,000-barrel rise, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. SINGAPORE CASH DEALS - One gasoil trade, no jet fuel deals OTHER NEWS - Global commodity trader Mercuria is aggressively expanding its energy transition business, snapping up employees from oil majors BP Plc and Royal Dutch Shell, according to three people familiar with the matter and employee LinkedIn profiles. - Oil prices rose on Thursday, extending strong gains made in previous sessions on expectations of tighter supplies until the end of the year as economies recover from the coronavirus crisis. ASSESSMENTS MID-DISTILLATES CASH ($/T) ASIA CLOSE Change % Change Prev Close RIC Spot Gas Oil 0.5% 76.05 2.57 3.50 73.48 GO 0.5 Diff -2.27 0.01 -0.44 -2.28 Spot Gas Oil 0.25% 76.15 2.57 3.49 73.58 GO 0.25 Diff -2.17 0.01 -0.46 -2.18 Spot Gas Oil 0.05% 76.36 2.57 3.48 73.79 GO 0.05 Diff -1.96 0.01 -0.51 -1.97 Spot Gas Oil 0.001% 78.34 2.6 3.43 75.74 GO 0.001 Diff 0.02 0.04 -200.00 -0.02 Spot Jet/Kero 75.91 2.72 3.72 73.19 Jet/Kero Diff -0.16 0.13 -44.83 -0.29 For a list of derivatives prices, including margins, please double click the RICs below. Brent M1 Gasoil M1 Gasoil M1/M2 Gasoil M2 Regrade M1 Regrade M2 Jet M1 Jet M1/M2 Jet M2 Gasoil 500ppm-Dubai Cracks M1 Gasoil 500ppm-Dubai Cracks M2 Jet Cracks M1 Jet Cracks M2 East-West M1 East-West M2 LGO M1 LGO M1/M2 LGO M2 Crack LGO-Brent M1 Crack LGO-Brent M2 (Reporting by Koustav Samanta; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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