Naphtha premiums in the Middle East have risen this week after cargoes were diverted to Europe. Currently, Europe is faced with a widespread refinery and port strike in France that has exhausted supplies in the region. Nationwide strikes over pension reforms have spread to France’s 12 oil refineries, adding to the impact of a multi-week strike at the country’s largest oil port, Fos-Lavera.
Saudi Aramco sold 50,000 tons of A180 naphtha for early-November loading from Ras Tanura at US$16-17/ton above Middle East quotes, free-on-board (FOB) basis, pointing to a strong recovery on the export market to high premiums. Two Saudi cargoes were shipped to Europe last week by Vitol.