Kuwait Petroleum sells Aug naphtha cargoes to Itochu, Mitsui

09 July 2009 11:15  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) sold between two to three cargoes of full-range naphtha for August lifting, market sources said on Thursday.

Japanese traders Itochu and Mitsui Oil bought 50,000 tonnes of naphtha each from KPC at premiums of $18-20/tonne (€12.9-14.4/tonne) to Arab Gulf quotes FOB (free on board) Kuwait. A cargo of the same size could have been sold to a third buyer, sources said.

The Arab Gulf producer resumed spot sales in mid June after a month’s absence from the market. It sold a full-range naphtha cargo for loading in the first of July at a premium of $15-16/tonne to Middle East quotes FOB Kuwait, sources said.

KPC may have also sold a similar cargo for lifting in the second half of this month at slightly lower premiums, they added.

The spot cargoes may have been made available due to delays in the start-up of its new aromatics plant in Shuaiba, market sources said. 

The start-up of the plant, which can produce 395,000 tonnes/year of benzene and 820,000 tonnes/year of paraxylene (PX), was again pushed back to the third quarter from June, they said.

In April, KPC sold a total of 155,000 tonnes of naphtha for May lifting because the aromatics plant failed to start up as planned. The cargoes were sold at premiums of $9-17.50/tonne to Arab Gulf quotes FOB (free on board) Kuwait.

The Kuwaiti refiner seldom offers supplies on a spot basis as most of its naphtha are sold to term customers.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Desmond Chia
+65 6780 4359

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