The Asian naphtha price extended losses to stay at its lowest since Dec. 14, weighed down by Brent crude, but its margin recovered to a two-session high of US$118.90/ton, supported by persistent demand.
Indian sellers cancelling naphtha tenders have also lifted market sentiment. Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) has cancelled a tender to sell 35,000 tons for early February lifting from Hazira, due possibly to lower output at its plant. ONGC will likely resolve the issue and may re-issue a tender to sell the cargo at a later date. This came a day after HPCL had cancelled a tender to sell 20,000 tons for early February loading from Mumbai.
"Asia will be able to absorb the 900,000 tons of Western cargoes arriving next month as India is reducing exports but demand in Asia is still strong," said a North Asian trader in Reuters. South Korea's Samsung Total in the meantime has bought around 25,000 tons of naphtha for H1-March arrival at premiums of US$9-10/ton to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis. This is based on a 45-day price formula.