Honam Petrochemical has bought around 50,000 tons of open-spec naphtha for H1-December delivery at hefty premiums of US$22.50-23/ton to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight basis, as per Reuters. The premiums are similar to those paid on Nov. 2 for 50,000 tons of H1-December arrival.
A 25,000 ton cargo was purchased for arrival at Yeosu, and another for arrival at Daesan, each with a 1 million tpa cracker. The last time premiums spiralled above the US$20/ton mark in South Korea was in late March, when Indian refiners had limited cargoes to sell due to port and refinery maintenance. Recent price spikes can be attributed to supply tightness but demand for H2-December cargoes vs H1-December could ease as buyers may not want to stock inventories approaching the end of the fiscal year.