Naphtha price in Asia at nine week low, premiums stay firm on demand

Naphtha prices in Asia started the week at a nine-week low at US$1027/ton in line with weak Brent crude. However, intermonth premiums rose to US$18/ton, their highest level in a month on the back of firm demand, as per Reuters. Intermonth premium is the difference between H1-June and H1-July. Honam Petrochemical paid a premium of US$20.50 for least one 25,000 ton open-spec naphtha cargo for H1-June arrival at Daesan to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis. This amount was similar to what it had paid last week for 75,000 tons for H2-May arrival. Reflecting a stable market, the premiums are not weaker as initially expected with the near completion of refinery maintenances in the region. Though Saudi Aramco is expected to restart a condensate splitter in early May, unexpected disruption to supplies in India and Egypt propped up the market. Premiums for Indian cargoes remain steep, with Total paying BPCL US$47-48/ton to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis for a 35,000 ton cargo for May 19-23 loading from Kochi port in the West Coast of India.
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