Asia and Middle East Naphtha Chemical Industry Commentary

Chemical Industry

Chemical Industry – The strengths seen in the Asian naphtha flat prices, which tracked crude markers closely had started to slow down towards the end of the trading week. At Monday’s Asian close, benchmark Mean of Japan naphtha physical rose $7/mt from Monday, marking a six-month high level of $616.125/mt (Chemical Industry). However, the second-half June naphtha physical crack on the benchmark against ICE Brent crude futures dipped $1.1/mt to $53.15/mt. At 0300 GMT Monday, the crack spreads was pegged lower at a notional level of $52.375/mt. The mild slip on the cracks had drawn out a few more demand for paraffinic naphtha from Northeast Asia, with some seeking to cover requirements before the start of holidays next week. Mitsubishi Chemical, is seeking open spec naphtha supplies for second-half June delivery into Kashima, in a tender closing April 26, Chemical Industry sources said. Japan has a string of public holidays that includes the Golden Week, the Showa Day and the Emperor’s accession day, spanning from April 29 to May 6. Yeochun NCC, in South Korea and Formosa Petrochemical Corp., in Taiwan, are both seeking H1 June delivery open-spec naphtha supplies on Monday. Both tenders will close on April 26. Thailand’s PTT Chemical Industry is offering 27,500 mt of light naphtha with minimum 80% paraffin content and maximum 400 ppm sulfur content, ex-Map Ta Phut, for June 6-15 loading. The tender closes April 26 at 0300 GMT, with same-day validity. In other news, Japan’s largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy said Monday that it will shut its sole 135,000 b/d crude distillation unit at the Sakai refinery from mid-May to early July for a scheduled turnaround. As of Monday morning, JXTG had yet to shut the 90,000 b/d No. 2 CDU at its 180,000 b/d Mizushima-B plant in western Japan for maintenance which is scheduled to start from late April. The 90,000 b/d CDU Chemical Industry at the Mizushima B-plant will be shut until early July as it will be undergoing a major turnaround, which takes place once in four years.

 

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

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