S Korea’s LG Chem buys 45,000-60,000 tonne H2 February naphtha

18 January 2010 07:49  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--South Korea’s LG Chem has bought two open-spec naphtha cargoes totalling 45,000-60,000 tonnes by tender for delivery in the second-half (H2) of February, traders said on Monday.

The cargoes fetched a premium of around $17.50/tonne (€12/tonne) to Japan CFR (cost and freight) quotes, traders said.

"The backwardation is still steep," a trader said, referring to the high premium.

The spread between first-half March and second-half March naphtha contract was at a firm $9/tonne in backwardation, reflecting strong demand in the downstream petrochemicals market despite regular maintenance planned by many ethylene producers in March, traders said.

A trader purchased a 3,000-3,500-tonne spot cargo for the first-half of February loading at a high of $1,350/tonne FOB (free on board) NE (northeast) Asia due to tight ethylene supply, according to data from ICIS pricing.

LG Chem plans to shut its 900,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker at Yeocheon, South Korea, from 3 March to 8 April.

($1 = 0.70)

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By: Felicia Loo



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