SINGAPORE, Dec 23 (Reuters) - Asia's cash differentials for 10 ppm gasoil edged higher on Monday, buoyed by expectations of firmer buying interests ahead of a switch to cleaner marine fuels starting January. Traders were hopeful the first half of 2020 will bring a major boost for marine gasoil (MGO) demand as new International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules prohibit ships from using fuels containing more than 0.5% sulphur, compared with 3.5% through the end of December. Cash premiums for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur contentclimbed to 78 cents per barrel over Singapore quotes, their highest in more than two weeks. The gasoil cash differentials were at a premium of 77 cents a barrel on Friday. The January/February time spread for 10 ppm gasoil widened its backwardated structure by 4 cents to trade at a premium of 42 cents a barrel on Monday. In backwardation, the front-month contract is more expensive than subsequent months, making it uneconomical to store the product, leading to a drawdown in inventories. It is usually seen as an indication that prices are likely to head higher in future months. Refining margins, also known as cracks, for gasoil with 10 ppm sulphur content slipped 23 cents to $15.45 per barrel over Dubai crude during Asian trading hours on Friday. Meanwhile, jet fuel cracks eased to $14.85 per barrel over Dubai crude on Monday, down from $15.13 per barrel in the previous session on Friday. Cash differentials for jet fuel narrowed their discounts to 2 cents per barrel to Singapore quotes, backed by a couple of firmer deals in the physical trading window in Singapore. They were at a discount of 11 cents a barrel on Friday. CHINA NOVEMBER PRODUCT EXPORTS - China's diesel exports climbed to 2.21 million tonnes in November, up from 1.19 million tonnes in October and nearly 80% higher than a year earlier, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Monday. - Gasoline shipments were 1.84 million tonnes last month. That compares to the previous record at 1.73 million tonnes in October and 630,000 tonnes in November 2018. - Jet kerosene exports rose to 1.62 million tonnes in November from 1.58 million tonnes the previous month and 1.54 million tonnes in the same month last year. U.S.-EUROPE OIL FREIGHT RATES HIT RECORD - Rates for Aframax-class crude oil tankers leaving the U.S. Gulf Coast hit a record this week, according to three shipbrokers, reflecting strong demand in Europe and the Mediterranean for low-sulphur crude. - Equinor ASA and Unipec, the trading arm of China's top refiner Sinopec, provisionally chartered Aframax tankers Everest Spirit and Nordorchid, respectively, this week at rates of 245 worldscale points, according to one broker and Refinitiv Eikon data. Both vessels are headed to Europe. - The worldscale rate translates to about $60,700-per-day, well above the $46,800-per-day rate a week ago for Aframax vessels, according to calculations by shipbroker and consultants Poten & Partners. SINGAPORE CASH DEALS - No gasoil trades, two jet fuel deals. - Singapore trader Hin Leong bought 100,000 barrels of jet fuel from Shell for Jan. 7-11 loading at a premium of 10 cents a barrel to Singapore quotes. - Hin Leong bought another 100,000 barrels of jet fuel from Shell for Jan. 14-18 loading at a premium of 10 cents a barrel to Singapore quotes. - For more information, please click OTHER NEWS - Oil prices slipped on Monday, but held near recent three-month highs amid optimism that the United States and China are close to signing a trade deal, with President Donald Trump saying an agreement would be signed "very shortly". - U.S. energy firms added the most oil rigs last week since February 2018 - primarily in the Permian shale - even though producers have been reducing spending on new drilling for much of this year. Companies added 18 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 20, bringing the total count to 685, the most since early November, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in its closely followed report on Friday. ASSESSMENTS MID-DISTILLATES CASH ($/T) ASIA CLOSE Change % Change Prev Close RIC Spot Gas Oil 0.5% 77.63 -0.99 -1.26 78.62 GO 0.5 Diff -2.27 0.01 -0.44 -2.28 Spot Gas Oil 0.25% 78.23 -0.99 -1.25 79.22 GO 0.25 Diff -1.67 0.01 -0.60 -1.68 Spot Gas Oil 0.05% 79.45 -0.99 -1.23 80.44 GO 0.05 Diff -0.45 0.01 -2.17 -0.46 Spot Gas Oil 0.001% 80.68 -0.99 -1.21 81.67 GO 0.001 Diff 0.78 0.01 1.30 0.77 Spot Jet/Kero 79.28 -0.91 -1.13 80.19 Jet/Kero Diff -0.02 0.09 -81.82 -0.11 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 Rashmi Aich)
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.