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Singapore 95/92 RON gasoline spread narrows to 5-month low

Singapore — The FOB Singapore 95/92 RON gasoline spread narrowed by 34 cents/b day onday to $1.77/b at the close of Asian trade Wednesday -- the lowest in fivemonths, S&P Global Platts data showed.

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The last low was seen on January 9, 2018 when the spread stood at$1.67/b.

The 95/92 RON gasoline spread has been hovering within $2-$3/b for thefirst half of 2018, averaging $2.58/b for the period of January 2 to June 13,Platts data showed.

"Fundamentally, regional demand for the 95 RON is relatively weakercompared to the 92 RON. That's why even though the 92 RON is alsofundamentally weak right now, we're seeing a narrowing of the 95/92 inter-RONspread," a Chinese trader said.

Furthermore, "all the incremental production in the region is currentlyhigh octane and refineries want to capture that margin in the higher valueparts of the gasoline pool," a Singapore-based trader said.

"Coupled with more Chinese barrels and good blending margins, a lot more95 RON is being produced," the same source added.

In addition, the low MTBE factor is another main reason driving theproduction of 95 RON gasoline within the region, trading sources said.

"It's cheaper to produce 95 RON now given the low MTBE factor, and thathas led to the oversupply of 95 RON," another Singapore-based trader said.

The FOB Singapore MTBE factor has slumped to a multi-year low of 1.107 atthe close of Asian trade Wednesday, Platts data showed.

The MTBE factor measures the ratio between the daily assessments for FOB Singapore MTBE and 92 RON gasoline.

FOB Singapore MTBE prices were assessed at a three-month low of$762.50/mt at the close of Asian trade Wednesday. The last low was at $756/mton March 20, Platts data showed.

--Brandon Lee, brandon.lee@spglobal.com

--Edited by Irene Tang, irene.tang@spglobal.com