South Korea's Lotte Chemical has bought a total of 130,000 tons of naphtha so far for H1-April arrival on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, as per Reuters. About 55,000 tons will be supplied by Saudi Aramco. The amount paid and the time of purchase is unclear. It bought 75,000 tons of naphtha from trading houses on Wednesday for delivery to Daesan and Yeosu at slightly lower premiums of US$34.50-35.50/ton premium to Japan quotes on a C&F basis. The weaker premiums could be a sign that some sellers were expecting softer demand ahead as buyers may have locked in most of the cargoes they needed in view of the current tight supplies.
Saudi Aramco has set up a trading entity, making it more accessible to South Korean buyers who buy their spot cargoes mainly on a C&F and not free-on-board (FOB) basis.