Norwegian oil firm Statoil bought 35,000 tons of naphtha from India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL), in a rare move reflecting that the European refiner could be in need of prompt supplies, as per Reuters. The cargo is scheduled for June 5-7 loading from New Mangalore port for which Statoil paid premiums of about US$34/ton to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis for it. Statoil occasionally brings in naphtha from Europe to supply to Asia. It also has a contract to lift barrels from the Middle East. It is likely that Statoil has already sold European barrels to Asia and has decided to buy regional cargoes to cover position.
Asian naphtha demand has weakened since last month, while supplies are increasing as refinery units resume operations following maintenance and outages. These weaker fundamentals have weighed on premiums. MRPL had previously fetched US$41/ton for a May cargo.