India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd has sold a December naphtha cargo to Marubeni Corp at about US$26/ton above Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, higher versus November sales, as per Reuters. The premium for the 35,000 ton cargo, scheduled for Dec. 5-7 loading from New Mangalore, reflected a jump of about 21% when compared to the average premium MRPL had fetched for two November cargoes. Traders said the higher premiums could be due to expectations of improved demand ahead. Asia's top naphtha importer Formosa Petrochemical Corp and South Korea's GS Caltex are to restart their naphtha units this month following shutdowns in mid-September and October respectively for maintenance. The two units need a total of more than 450,000 tons of naphtha a month.
Separately, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd sold 26,000 tons of naphtha to PetroChina for prompt Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 loading from Kochi at a premium of about US$15/ton to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis. Buyers usually place lower bids for cargoes scheduled for prompt lifting as it gives them shorter time to charter vessels.