Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals seeks 25,000-50,000 tonnes naphtha

23 February 2010 08:48  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals is seeking 25,000-50,000 tonnes of open-spec naphtha in the spot market for second half of March delivery, amid maximum operating rates at its two naphtha crackers in the country, an industry source said on Tuesday.

The company last bought two cargoes totalling 50,000 tonnes of open-spec naphtha at a premium of slightly below $10.00/tonne (€7.30/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) Japan, for delivery in the first half of March, the source added.

“Naphtha supply from Japanese refineries are limited because of low run rates, so there is a need to buy more imported naphtha, especially with stable petrochemical demand from China after the (Lunar New Year) holidays,” the source said.

Mitsui’s 617,000 tonne/year naphtha cracker at Chiba and 450,000 tonne/year cracker at Osaka were currently operating at full tilt, in the face of healthy margins, the source added.

Asia’s benchmark naphtha crack spread widened to a six-day high of $131.825/tonne versus Brent crude on Monday’s close, amid a rally in global crude futures, according to global chemical market intelligence service ICIS pricing.

($1 = €0.73

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By: Felicia Loo

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