Honam Petrochemical buys 75,000 tonnes of March naphtha

02 February 2010 09:31  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--South Korea’s Honam Petrochemical has bought 75,000 tonnes of open-spec spot naphtha for March delivery at lower premiums, as northeast Asian crackers head into seasonal peak maintenance, traders said on Tuesday.

Honam bought two cargoes at a premium of $8.00-8.50/tonne (€5.75-6.10) to CFR (cost and freight) Japan quotes for first half of March delivery, traders said.

The company also purchased a cargo at a premium of $4.00-4.50/tonne CFR Japan for delivery in the second half of March, traders added.

“There is no additional demand because of peak cracker turnarounds. The market’s down,” said a trader, explaining why prices fell.

Honam last bought spot naphtha supplies at a premium of $17-19/tonne CFR Japan.

In Japan and South Korea, crackers that have a combined nameplate capacity of 2.57m tonnes/year will be taken off line for one month in March.

The Asian naphtha market has toned down over the week, tracking the volatility in global crude futures.

The benchmark naphtha crack spread versus Brent slumped to below $133.675/tonne on midday Tuesday trade, the weakest since 24 November, according to data from ICIS pricing.

($1 = €0.72)

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By: Felicia Loo

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