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Singapore reforming spread near 8-year low on gasoline overhang, poor blend demand

  • Author
  • Sue Koh    Mark Tan
  • Editor
  • Liz Thang
  • Commodity
  • Oil

Singapore — The Singapore reforming spread, which measures the difference between FOB Singapore 92 RON gasoline and the FOB Singapore naphtha derivative, tanked to a near eight-year low of $6.58/barrel at 0830 GMT close of Asian trade Tuesday, pressured by thin blending demand thanks to a chronic oversupply of gasoline.

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The reforming spread was last lower on January 5, 2011 at $5.60/b, S&P Global Platts data showed.

Much of the narrowing spread difference between the two was saddled by the weakness in the Asian gasoline market. "At the moment, gasoline [supply] is flooded in the region," a gasoline trader said.

As gasoline suppliers were grappling with the current surplus, demand for naphtha for gasoline blending stayed thin.

Reflecting the oversupply, the FOB Singapore gasoline crack against front month ICE Brent crude oil futures narrowed to a near seven-year low of minus $1.42/b on Tuesday.

"Asian waterborne gasoline-blending demand is trivial compared to cracker demand," the same trader added.

The Asian CFR Japan naphtha market witnessed a slight rebound, flipping into backwardation structure after nearly seven weeks of contango on the physical benchmark.

The spread between H1 February/H2 February CFR Japan naphtha rose from minus $2.50/mt on Monday to plus 50 cents/mt at Tuesday's Asian close. The spreads between the first and third trading cycles were last in a backwardation of plus 25 cents/mt on October 16, Platts data showed.

--Sue Koh,

--Mark Tan,

--Edited by Liz Thang,