Asian processors have been among the best performers as the companies capitalize on the steady flow of cheap oil from the Middle East, Mexico, Nigeria and Russia. CRAK’s Asia country components include Japan 14.3%, South Korea 8.2%, India 6.8%, Taiwan 4.5% and Thailand 3.2%.
The oil refinery business benefits from lower crude oil prices, or lower input costs. Meanwhile, the price of finished products such as gasoline, diesel and fuel oil can affect a refinery’s profitability. Consequently, the difference between the cost of crude oil and the price of the products, or so-called crack spread, is a common indicator of the potential profits. Profits from turning crude into naphtha, which is used to produce gasoline and petrochemicals, jumped to $9.42 per barrel this month, the highest level since May.
“Refining margins in Asia have stayed very strong, certainly much stronger than in 2014, largely because feedstock prices have dropped significantly,” Victor Shum, a vice president at IHS Inc., told Bloomberg.
Market Vectors Oil Refiners ETF
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Max Chen contributed to this article.