Asia Naphtha/Gasoline-Naphtha at 3-1/2 mth high on Brent

Mon Aug 13, 2012 8:24am EDT

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SINGAPORE, Aug 13 (Reuters) - The Asian naphtha price hit a 3-1/2 month high of $948 a tonne
on Monday but its margins slipped to a two-session low of $96.30 a tonne premium as buyers
temporarily held off spot purchases in view of high Brent crude and weak economic data. 
    Japan data showed that its economy grew 0.3 percent in April-June from the first quarter.
This follows discouraging Chinese trade figures last week.  
    Traders were also divided as to where the naphtha market was heading, due to persistent
economic uncertainty.
    This was evident in the term talks having reached a deadlock between South Korean buyer YNCC
and its sellers for naphtha meant for September 2012 to August 2013 delivery. 
    YNCC had placed bids at $1.50 a tonne premium to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F)
basis but these failed to interest suppliers, who quoted offers from $5.00 a tonne premium.
    "YNCC came out at the wrong time as the high naphtha prices in Europe, supported by
gasoline, are influencing prices in Asia," a Singapore-based trader said.  
    * NAPHTHA TENDER/PRIVATE DEALS: Saudi Aramco has sold about four long-range vessels of
naphtha totalling up to 220,000 tonnes for August loading from different ports at premiums in
the low $20s a tonne level to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB). 
    - Of the four cargoes, two were of A180 grade, likely from Yanbu. Another cargo consisted of
naphtha from Rabigh and Jeddah, and the last cargo contained naphtha from Jubail
    * CRACKER NEWS: Formosa has restarted its 700,000 tonnes per year (tpy) No. 1 cracker last
week following maintenance which started on June 19. 
    - Japan's top refiner JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp said it shut the 443,000 tonnes per year
naphtha cracker at its Kawasaki plant near Tokyo on Monday for planned maintenance.
    Asia's gasoline cracks stayed firm at a 10-month high of $14.94 a barrel as tight supplies
failed to ease on strong Eastern demand and a refinery outage in Vietnam. 
    The limited cargoes in the market have prevented Asian barrels from being exported to the
U.S. west coast after Chevron Corp shut a crude unit at its 240,000 barrels per day
Richmond plant in California following a fire. 
    "Gasoline supplies are tight in Asia because of demand from Taiwan, Malaysia, India
alongside Vietnam and Indonesia," said a trader. 
    Vietnam's only refinery -- a 135,000 bpd plant in Dung Quat -- was unexpectedly shut around
Aug. 5 and may resume operations around Aug. 16.  
    Traders said that once the plant restarts, the tightness in supplies may ease very quickly
as this will coincide with Indonesian peak demand tapering off from second-half August. 
    * SINGAPORE CASH DEALS: Five deals on gasoline, of which four were bought by Shell. One deal
on naphtha. 
    - Glencore sold two 95-octane gasoline cargoes for Aug. 28 to Sept. 1 loading at $132.60 and
$132.50 a barrel respectively to Phillips 66 and Shell. 
    - Glencore sold a third 95-octane gasoline cargo, but for Sept. 3-7 loading at $132.50 a
barrel to Shell. 
    - Shell has also bought a 97-octane gasoline cargo from Unipec for Sept. 2-6 loading at
$138.10 a barrel. 
    - Shell bought its fourth gasoline cargo, a 95-octane grade for Sept. 8-12 loading at
$131.20 a barrel, from Gunvor. 
    - Glencore sold a naphtha cargo for first-half October delivery to Itochu at $944 a tonne. 
 LIGHT DISTILLATES                                                                        
 CASH ($/T)                      ASIA CLOSE  Change   % Change    Prev      RIC
 OSN Naphtha CFR Japan M1            948.00   476.00      100.85    472.00  NAF-1H-TYO
 OSN Naphtha CFR Japan M2            940.00   472.50      101.07    467.50  NAF-2H-TYO
 OSN Naphtha Diff                      8.00     3.50       77.78      4.50  NAF-TYO-DIF
 Naphtha Netback FOB Sing            103.11     0.42        0.41    102.69  NAF-SIN
 Naphtha Diff FOB Sing                -0.07    -1.26     -105.88      1.19  NAF-SIN-DIF
 Naphtha-Brent  Crack                 96.30    -3.35       -3.36     99.65  NAF-SIN-CRK
 Gasoline 97                         138.10     2.05        1.51    136.05  GL97-SIN
 Gasoline 95                         132.20     0.50        0.38    131.70  GL95-SIN
 Gasoline 92                         128.50     1.70        1.34    126.80  GL92-SIN
 Gasoline crack                       14.94     0.72        5.06     14.22  GL92-SIN-CRK
 SWAPS  ($/T)                    ASIA CLOSE  Change   % Change    Prev      RIC
                                 (0830 GMT)                       Close     
 Brent M1                            113.54     0.96        0.85    112.58              
 Naphtha CFR Japan M1                943.00     7.00        0.75    936.00                
 Naphtha CFR Japan M1/M2               5.00     0.00        0.00      5.00                
 Naphtha CFR Japan M2                938.00     7.00        0.75    931.00                
 Naphtha Japan-Sing Netback M1        16.45     2.95       21.85     13.50                
 Naphtha Japan-Sing Netback M2        20.00     4.30       27.39     15.70                
 Naphtha FOB Sing M1                 102.95     0.45        0.44    102.50                
 Naphtha FOB Sing M1/M2                0.95     0.15       18.75      0.80                
 Naphtha FOB Sing M2                 102.00     0.30        0.29    101.70                
 Naphtha Cracks M1                    -9.32    -0.18        1.97     -9.14                
 East-West Naphtha M1                  9.75    -1.75      -15.22     11.50              
 East-West Naphtha M2                 10.00    -1.50      -13.04     11.50              
 NWE Naphtha M1                      933.25     8.75        0.95    924.50               
 NWE Naphtha M1/M2                     5.25     0.25        5.00      5.00                
 NWE Naphtha M2                      928.00     8.50        0.92    919.50               
 Crack NWE Naphtha-Brent M1          -10.43    -0.02        0.19    -10.41                
 Crack NWE Naphtha-Brent M2           -9.30     0.14       -1.48     -9.44                
 *Sing refers to Singapore                                                                
 (Reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Alison Birrane)