Naphtha price in Asia neared a five-month high on Monday at US1012/ton, while margin reached a two-session high of US$137.80/ton as strong demand reversed losses in the previous session. Demand was seen from South Korean buyers seeking heavy full-range naphtha for H2-March delivery through private negotiations. Demand for open-spec grade naphtha was even stronger. H1-March cargoes are still being sought in a bid to stock up because of the upcoming refinery maintenance (in South Korea) in March and April.
New spot deals for Indian cargoes remained firm, with Hindustan Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL) having sold 25,000 tons of naphtha for Feb. 15-16 loading from Mumbai to Glencore at a premium of about US$36-37/ton to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis. This was slightly higher compared with a cargo sold also to Glencore for Jan. 31 to Feb. 4 loading from the same port at about US$35/ton premium. Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd sold 12,000 tons of naphtha for Feb 18-22 loading from Haldia to Trafigura at a premium of about US$30/ton to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis.