Naphtha prices in Asia slip to four-session low

13-May-11
Asia's naphtha price slipped by over 5% to a four-session low on Thursday, along with fall in naphtha cracks. However, spot premiums remained at firm levels and forced South Korean buyer Honam to cancel a purchase, as per Reuters. Naphtha cracks fell by almost 12 dollars to US$156.60/ton premium. Honam planned to buy naphtha for H2-June arrival, but withdrew the tender on limited high offers, estimated from US$17/ton to Japan spot quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis. Interestingly, these premium levels are similar to those paid by Honam for H1-June cargoes. However, the buyer opines that by right, offers should be lower. Buyers complain about deteriorating petrochemical margins, but tight supplies had offset these concerns with trading houses willing to pay steep premiums for cargoes. South Korea's S-Oil sold 33,000 tons of naphtha at around US$28/ton above Japan quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, nearly one-and-a-half times higher than a previous sale. India's MRPL sold 35,000 tons for June 11-13 loading to PetroChina at about US$34.50/ton above Middle East quotes on a FOB basis. PetroChina also bought another 25,000-30,000 tons for July loading from Vizag from HPCL at premiums of about US$30/ton on a FOB basis. HPCL separately sold similar volumes to Cargill for May 28 to June 3 loading from the same port at about US$41/ton premium.
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