Asia and Middle East Naphtha Chemical Industry Commentary

Chemical Industry

The Asian naphtha Chemical Industry kicked off the week with stable demand, although spot buying interest is expected to retreat gradually as the first-half June delivery trading cycle will end mid-week. Taiwan’s CPC Corp., is seeking 35,000-55,000 mt of full range naphtha for delivery over June 5-27. State-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd, is offering 25,000 mt of naphtha with minimum paraffin content of 70% and maximum sulfur limit of 400 ppm, ex-Visakhapatnam, for May 8-10 loading. Both tenders close on April 29, with next-day validity. Private refiner Nayara Energy Ltd., sold 33,000-35,000 mt of naphtha Chemical Industry with minimum 70% paraffin content and maximum 500 ppm sulfur content for May 27-31 loading at a premium in the mid-teens to May average of Mean of Arab Gulf naphtha assessments, FOB. Yeochun NCC, bought at least one cargo of 25,000 mt minimum 70% paraffin content open-spec naphtha for H1 June delivery, at a premium of around $4.5/mt to Mean of Japan naphtha assessments, CFR, pricing 30 days prior to delivery. The purchase was done last Wednesday. The company could not be contacted to verify the information. Separately, Japan’s Chemical Industry JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy has shut the China-based aromatics plant after a mechanical glitch early this week, a company source said, adding that the duration of the shutdown was unclear. The shutdown came at a time of a narrow paraxylene-naphtha spread, which prompted the Japanese producer to contingently trim its paraxylene production. “JXTG Nippon Oil and Energy have decided to reduce our PX production by 10%-20% of total capacity as early as possible because of the current squeezed margin,” the source said. The Asian paraxylene-naphtha spread narrowed to its lowest in 10 months at $331.705/mt at the Asian close Wednesday. The spread widened to $343.50/mt Wednesday. JXTG is a key buyer of heavy full range naphtha, having a requirement of around eight parcels of the feedstock per month, according to Chemical Industry sources. The plant has a nameplate capacity of 380,000 mt/year of PX and 240,000 mt/year of benzene, of which 140,000 mt/year of benzene is produced direct from the refinery using reformate feed, and 100,000 mt/year from the toluene disproportionation unit.

Chemical Industry
Chemical Industry

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