Indian majors sell naphtha cargoes at premiums

Indian Oil Corp (IOC) sold three parcels of naphtha totaling 91,500-94,500 tons for March-May lifting from Dahej by tender to Chevron at a steep premium of over US$25/ton to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis. About 30,000 tons of naphtha cargoes will be lifted in the second week in each of the three months until May. However, IOC's contract for about 252,000 tons for March-August lifting from Dahej has not found any buyers. This is mainly because naphtha supplies are expected to increase from April not only from India but also the Middle East, while demand is expected to weaken considerably as the markets take time to recover from the economic meltdown. Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) was not successful in awarding a term tender for 180,000 tons of naphtha for February-July lifting from New Mangalore, as buyers were seeking shorter term deals. MRPL eventually sold the February-April parcels as spot cargoes, and retracted the remaining cargoes for May-July loading. Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) has awarded a term tender to sell at least 4 30,000 ton naphtha parcels to BP for March-June loading at a premium marginally lower than US$30/ton to Middle East quotes, FOB basis for loading from Vizag. Reliance Industries has sold 80,000 tons of naphtha from its older refinery to South Korean trading house Daelim, at US$41-42/ton above Middle East quotes on FOB basis. The premium is higher than what it had fetched for two 55,000 ton cargoes slated for H2-February lifting to BP and Sempra at above US$36/ton premium each. India is also expected to increase its exports from March as domestic end users who switched to lower-cost naphtha from gas are likely to revert back because of falling gas values.
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