12 November 2012

Malaysia's Petronas makes rare spot gasoline purchase

UPDATE 1-Malaysia's Petronas makes rare spot gasoline purchase (Source: Reuters)

SINGAPORE, Nov 12 (Reuters) - Malaysia's state-owned Petronas has bought around 100,000 barrels of 95-octane gasoline from the Singapore spot market in a rare move, three traders said on Monday.

"Petronas does not usually buy spot gasoline. The last time they did this was when they had a plant outage," said one of the traders based in Singapore. This has prompted talks in the market that Petronas' joint-venture (JV) plant in Malacca with U.S. oil company ConocoPhillips may be suffering from technical glitches although this could not be verified.

Petronas operates another refinery in Malacca. Traders added that a crude distillation unit (CDU) at the JV
plant may be running at reduced rates, and this could persist for about two weeks. Another trader estimated that Petronas may have paid more than $4 but under $5 a barrel to Singapore quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis for the gasoline cargoes.

Petronas' purchase, combined with the gasoline strength in the U.S. following supply disruption from Superstorm Sandy, may have sent Asia's gasoline margins up by close to 28 percent to
nearly a month high of $7.24 a barrel on Monday.

(Reporting by Seng Li Peng; additional reporting by Jessica Jaganathan and Yantoultra Ngui in Kuala Lumpur; editing by James Jukwey) ((lipeng.seng@thomsonreuters.com)(+65 6870 3086)(Reuters
Messaging: lipeng.seng.reuters.com@reuters.net))


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