SINGAPORE: Asian naphtha price was flat at $961.50 a tonne, but its margin recovered some of its losses to reach a two-session high of $129.45 a tonne on Monday, thanks to lower feedstock Brent crude value and hopes of healty demand ahead.
But concerns over how many Western imports Asia will be getting next month lingered. Europe may be enticed to ship a lot more cargoes to the East because of the much higher prices.
Traders see more incentives in moving Western cargoes, including those from Africa, Europe and the Mediterranean and occasionally the United States, to Asia when the latter's price is at least $27 a tonne higher than that in Northwest Europe.
The price in Asia is currently about $31.50 higher.
But some traders expect medium-term fundamentals to be strong as the healthy economic outlook in China will lead to strong demand for petrochemicals.
Additionally, India's naphtha supplies have remained unpredictable. As of now, India's total exports for January loading are around 560,000 tonnes, sharply lagging what was sold for December loading at about 930,000 tonnes.
"I am pretty bullish about first- and second-quarter outlook on naphtha," said a Singapore-based trader.
NAPHTHA TENDERS: China's WEPEC has sold around 30,000 tonnes of naphtha for Feb. 17-19 loading from Dalian to an oil major at
premiums of about $26 a tonne to Japan quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, similar to what it had fetched for a cargo lifting in second-half January.
Yemen's Aden has sold 20,000-25,000 tonnes of light naphtha and another 20,000-25,000 tonnes of N+A grade for Jan. 12-14 to Vitol at premiums in the mid-to-high $30s a tonne on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.
India's MRPL sold 35,000 tonnes of naphtha for Feb. 8-10 loading from New Mangalore to Petro-Diamond at premiums of about $44 a tonne to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis.
Reliance Industries on the other hand sold 35,000 tonnes of petrochemical grade for Jan. 20-25 to Total at premiums in the high $30s a tonne to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis.
GASOLINE CRACK REBOUNDS
The Asian gasoline crack gained 10.46 percent to reach a two-session high of $8.24 a barrel after hitting a two-week low in the previous session.
Although trades were thin in the Singapore cash market, with only two deals seen, it was an improvement compared to Friday where no transactions were made.
India's Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd (HPCL) on the other hand has offered 25,000-30,000 tonnes of gasoline for Jan. 25-30 lifting from Vizag in a rare move as it was mostly an importer of the motor fuel last year.
The tender is due to be awarded on Monday after 1300 GMT.
SINGAPORE CASH DEALS: Five deals, of which two in gasoline and three in naphtha.
Shell bought two 95-octane gasoline for Jan. 23-27 loading at $121.40 a barrels each from Arcadia and Phillips 66.
Glencore was behind all three naphtha sales.
It sold a first half March cargo to Itochu at $953 a tonne.
It also sold to Itochu a first-half March/first-half April spread deal at $16 aReuters
Glencore separately sold a second-half February/second-half March spread deal to Socar at $16.50 a tonne.
Center>Copyright Reuters, 2013