Asia Naphtha-India's MRPL sells Dec cargo at higher premium vs Nov

SINGAPORE Mon Oct 21, 2013 12:51am EDT

SINGAPORE Oct 21 (Reuters) - India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd has sold a December naphtha cargo to Marubeni Corp at about $26 a tonne above Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, higher versus November sales, traders said on Monday.

The premium for the 35,000-tonnne cargo, scheduled for Dec. 5-7 loading from New Mangalore, reflected a jump of about 21 percent 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 tonnes of naphtha a month.

Separately, Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd sold 26,000 tonnes of naphtha to PetroChina for prompt Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 loading from Kochi at a premium of about $15 a tonne 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. (Reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Tom Hogue)