Japan has become the prime destination for naphtha originating from the US Gulf Coast and Latin America, as the value of delivered naphtha there was at a wide premium to FOB naphtha in the Americas region, according to industry sources and Platts data. Two vessels carrying naphtha from the US Gulf Coast to Japan have been fixed this week, according to shipping industry sources. Valero has fixed the 38,000 mt MR Sirius vessel to Japan at a lump sum freight cost of US$1.4 mln, while Shell has fixed the 60,000 mt Elegant Victoria vessel at a lump sum of US$1.6 mln. Repsol has fixed the 38,000 mt Oktha Bridge vessel from Peru with Japan as a destination at a US$1.35 mln lump sum rate.
"The naphtha arbitrage to the Far East is working," a shipping source said. "There are lots of ships going on subs for USG/Japan-Singapore. Every trader is looking for tonnage to move naphtha barrels east."