Singapore Gross Refining Margins – Asian benchmark – touched $20 per barrel mark – highest level at least since 2012 on the back of rising demand for refined products globally. This is expected to benefit National Refinery, Attock Refinery, CNERGY and Pakistan Refinery as they process crude into refined products.

In 2022, Singapore GRMs have so far risen 3.2 times.

GRM is the amount that refiners earn from turning every barrel of crude oil into refined fuel products. Singapore GRM has so far averaged around $17.8 per barrel mark in the month of April 2022 as against $8.1 per barrel in Q4FY22.

According to Moody’s Investor Services, a strong demand and tight supply have supported refining margins and the same is expected to remain buoyant. Easing movement restrictions globally which led to a boost in demand for transportation fuels and international sanctions on Russia have also led to stronger demand for Asian fuels as European countries seek alternatives to Russian oil. On the other hand, supply has fallen amid lower exports from China and due to significant refinery closures.

Such supply and demand dynamics will support refining margins even as a recent surge in the price of crude oil bolsters feedstock costs, says Moody’s.

In calendar year 2020, GRMs were muted as the covid-19 pandemic had adversely impacted business conditions and hurt global oil demand. In 2021, it showed recovery trends.

Higher GRMs will likely offset the weaker marketing margins of state-owned OMCs. Marketing margins have been weak as crude prices have continued to remain higher, while retail fuel prices have not been increased commensurately.

Year-to-date, share prices of pure play refiners – ATRL and PRL – have jumped 12.4 percent and 10.1 percent. During the same time period, KSE-100 has gained 4.4 percent.

The story was filed by the News Desk. The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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