Asia Naphtha/Gasoline-Naphtha cracks hit 4-1/2 mth high
SINGAPORE, Sept 5 (Reuters) - The Asian naphtha price eased to a two-session low of $997 a tonne on Wednesday due to lower Brent crude, but margins, or cracks, rose for the fifth straight session to a 4-1/2 month high of $142.45 a tonne on stubborn tight supplies. The strong fundamentals prompted South Korea's LG Chem to fork out about $18.50 a tonne premium to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) for a 25,000-tonne naphtha cargo for second-half October delivery to Yeosu port. It paid $19.00 a tonne premium for another 25,000-tonne cargo for the same period delivery to Daesan port. These premiums were the highest LG Chem has paid for spot naphtha since late April. "The price uptrend should last for a while, but if naphtha gets too pricey, petrochemical makers would have to cut cracker runs," said a Singapore-based trader. "There are limitations to how high prices can go given the weak economic situation in China and Europe." The highest premium seen so far this year for open-spec naphtha in South Korea was about $21.50 a tonne. * NAPHTHA TENDERS/DEALS: Saudi Aramco has sold up to 600,000 tonnes of naphtha for September lifting, matching its export volumes in July loading. - Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) on the other hand has sold 50,000 tonnes of full-range naphtha for Oct. 6-7 loading and 24,000 tonnes of light grade for Oct. 4-5 loading at a premium of $39 a tonne to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis. - ADNOC has also sold a spot cargo for October lifting at premiums of around $40 a tonne. Traders estimated the volume to be around 75,000 tonnes or one long-range vessel. - India's MRPL sold 35,000 tonnes of naphtha for Oct. 3-5 loading from New Mangalore to Total at premiums of close to $42 a tonne to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis. - MRPL's current premium is just $3 shy of its record price of $45 a tonne when it sold a March cargo to Unipec in February. * GASOLINE CRACKS AT 2-MTH LOW Gasoline cracks fell for the seventh-straight session to reach a two-month low of $4.81 a barrel as supplies built. Asian traders were not moved by the supply tightness in Europe and recent fire at Chevron's plant in Richmond in the U.S. and Venezuela. The hurricane season in the U.S. has also failed to lift the somber mood. That was because there were no incentives to move cargoes from Asia to the West given the volatility in prices. Traders added that the stringent gasoline specifications in the U.S. had also made it hard for them to move barrels. But the European gasoline refining margin were in stark contrast at a four-year high of around $21.50 a barrel. On tenders, MRPL sold 25,000 tonnes of 92-octane gasoline for Oct. 7-9 loading from New Mangalore to Vitol at a premium of about $3.00 a barrel to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis. LIGHT DISTILLATES CASH ($/T) ASIA CLOSE Change % Change Prev RIC Close OSN Naphtha CFR Japan M1 997.00 -14.00 -1.38 1011.0 NAF-1H-TYO OSN Naphtha CFR Japan M2 982.00 -15.00 -1.50 997.00 NAF-2H-TYO OSN Naphtha Diff 15.00 0.50 3.45 14.50 NAF-TYO-DIF Naphtha Netback FOB Sing 108.55 -1.55 -1.41 110.10 NAF-SIN Naphtha Diff FOB Sing 2.00 0.10 5.26 1.90 NAF-SIN-DIF Naphtha-Brent Crack 142.45 2.50 1.79 139.95 NAF-SIN-CRK Gasoline 97 125.08 -2.42 -1.90 127.50 GL97-SIN Gasoline 95 122.51 -2.59 -2.07 125.10 GL95-SIN Gasoline 92 118.75 -2.55 -2.10 121.30 GL92-SIN Gasoline crack 4.81 -0.35 -6.78 5.16 GL92-SIN-CRK SWAPS ($/T) ASIA CLOSE Change % Change Prev RIC (0830 GMT) Close Brent M1 113.94 -2.20 -1.89 116.14 Naphtha CFR Japan M1 980.25 -17.75 -1.78 998.00 Naphtha CFR Japan M1/M2 9.75 0.75 8.33 9.00 Naphtha CFR Japan M2 970.50 -18.50 -1.87 989.00 Naphtha Japan-Sing Netback M1 7.80 -2.90 -27.10 10.70 Naphtha Japan-Sing Netback M2 11.10 -0.95 -7.88 12.05 Naphtha FOB Sing M1 108.05 -1.65 -1.50 109.70 Naphtha FOB Sing M1/M2 1.45 0.30 26.09 1.15 Naphtha FOB Sing M2 106.60 -1.95 -1.80 108.55 Naphtha Cracks M1 -6.11 0.14 -2.24 -6.25 East-West Naphtha M1 4.50 3.00 200.00 1.50 East-West Naphtha M2 12.25 1.00 8.89 11.25 NWE Naphtha M1 975.75 -20.75 -2.08 996.50 NWE Naphtha M1/M2 17.50 -1.25 -6.67 18.75 NWE Naphtha M2 958.25 -19.50 -1.99 977.75 Crack NWE Naphtha-Brent M1 -7.47 0.03 -0.40 -7.50 Crack NWE Naphtha-Brent M2 -8.30 -0.03 0.36 -8.27 *Sing refers to Singapore (Reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Alison Birrane)
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