Crude Oil

Oil prices jumped another 4% on Friday as the bulls have the bit between their teeth backed by global optimism for economic recovery, the US stimulus package and Saudi’s refusal to expand production. 

Brent futures settled at $69.36, up $2.62, or 4% on the day. For the week, it was up almost 5% and also hit a 13-month high of $69.57.

WTI crude  settled at $66.09, up $2.26, or 3.5%, on the day. For the week, WTI was up almost 7.5%. It also hit a 13-month high of $66.40.

When asked why Saudi Arabia again withheld the OPEC+ from embarking on a meaningful production hike from April, Saudi Oil minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Saleman pointed to new Covid-19 restrictions in Italy’s Milan that invoked the pandemic nightmare from a year ago that wiped out a fifth of global oil consumption. While the world is bursting with optimism now about recovery in everything, the prince, specifically referring to oil demand, said: “I will believe it when I see it.”

This morning, Brent futures have risen above $70 a barrel after Iran-backed Houthi rebels unleashed a coordinated attack on Saudi Arabia oil facilities and military bases.

Saudi Aramco set its Apr’21 OSPs for its Arab Light crude to Asia at plus $1.40/bbl versus the Oman/Dubai average, up $0.40 from Mar’21, according to a statement issued on Sunday.

China’s crude imports gained 5.8% YoY to 11.13 MB/D in Jan-Feb’21, rebounding from the 27-month low of 9.1 MB/D recorded in Dec’20. The increase was attributed to the wave of arrivals for the independent sector which took advantage of the fresh crude import quotas allocated for 2021.

S&P Global Platts affirmed on March 3 its commitment to continue consulting with market participants on a planned overhaul of the Dated Brent price benchmark that is used to measure the value of more than half the world’s crude.

US energy firms added 1 oil rig in the week to 5 Mar’21 to total 310 (-372 YoY), according to Baker Hughes. With prices rising, a growing number of energy firms now plan to boost spending in 2021 after cutting expenditures over the past two years.

Money managers cut their net long US crude futures and options positions by 3,323 contracts to total 399,220 in the week to 2 Mar’21, the US CFTC said on Friday.

covid 19 

At a global level, the death toll from the COVID-19 virus rose to 2,604,823 (+5,554 DoD) yesterday. The total number of active cases rose by around 70,000 DoD to 21.89 million. (Click here for details)


Asia’s naphtha market strengthened on Friday, with refiners’ margin for the product touching the highest in more than 14 months, on tight supplies and robust demand.

The Naphtha crack to Brent settled at $119.95 per MT on Friday, up $ 5.60 from the previous day.

Taiwanese refiner Formosa Petrochemical has bought 100,000 tonnes of naphtha with minimum 75% paraffin content at about $15 a tonne above Japan quotes for delivery in the second half of April, traders said, steady levels from the previous tender.

Lofty prices for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), alternative petrochemical feedstock, have also deterred cracker operators from switching raw material.

The April crack is unchanged at $1.30 /bbl


Asia’s gasoline crack fell to the lowest in a week as Singapore inventories rose while U.S. refineries gradually resume operations after a severe winter storm in Texas led to widespread outages last month.

The crack settled 60 cents lower at $4.86 / bbl.

The April crack is higher at $7.30 /bbl.

Click Here for a graphical depiction of Global Gasoline stocks by region.


Cash discounts for 10 ppm gasoil widened by 5 cents to 26 cents per barrel to Singapore quotes, while the March/April time spread flipped into a contango on Friday to trade at minus 5 cents per barrel.

Gasoil stocks held independently in ARA dropped 2.5% to 2.5 million tonnes in the week to March 4, data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global showed.

Cash differentials for jet fuel were at a discount of 48 cents per barrel to Singapore quotes on Friday, compared with a discount of 57 per barrel a day earlier.

ARA jet fuel inventories fell 4.1% to 958 KT.

The April crack for 500 ppm Gasoil is lower at $5.70 /bbl with the 10 ppm crack at $ 6.50 / bbl. The regrade is at -$ 1.75 /bbl. 

Click Here for a graphical depiction of Global Distillate stocks by region.

Fuel Oil

No fresh news on the Fuel Oil markets.

The April crack for 180 cst FO is lower at  -$3.85 /bbl with the visco spread at $0.95 /bbl.

Click Here for a graphical depiction of Fuel Oil stocks by region.

Hedge Recommendations

No fresh action today. 

Hedge recommendations are essentially made for refiners. These are not trading positions as such. The rationale of these positions is to lock in extraordinary levels for the refinery.

Click Here to see how all our recommendations have fared

About this blog

This blog post attempts to give a top level summary of the Singapore market goings on to a person who seeks to obtain a directional sense of the market on a daily basis.

Disclaimer : All the views are the author’s personal views. These do not constitute an advice to buy or sell any commodity

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