04 April 2012 09:48 [Source: ICIS news]
By Quintella Koh
In Taiwan, CPC Corp has delayed the start-up of a new residual fluid catalytic cracker (RFCC) at its Dalin refinery by around one month to the second half of June because of construction delays, a source close to the company said earlier this week. The RFCC, which can produce 400,000-450,000 tonnes/year of propylene, was initially scheduled to start up in the second half of May.
Meanwhile, the bulk of around 1m tonnes of naphtha cargoes from the US and the eurozone, which were booked by trading houses in the second half of February, arrived in Asia at the end of March, the traders said. The rest of the cargoes will arrive in the first half of April, they added.
Premiums paid for naphtha tenders have fallen since the start of last week because of these events, they said.
CPC Corp has purchased 55,000 tonnes of full-range naphtha for delivery in the second half of May at a $9.00-13.00/tonne (€6.84-9.88/tonne) premium from trading house Vitol, traders said on Wednesday.
The premium is around half of the amount CPC Corp paid for its last naphtha purchase in early March on a CFR (cost & freight) Japan quotes basis.
The cargo was purchased from a Middle Eastern trader and it was scheduled to be delivered into Pasir Gudang. Titan Chemicals last bought by tender 30,000 tonnes of full-range naphtha cargo for delivery in the first half of April at plus $20.00/tonne to CFR Japan quotes.
The first cargo, priced at plus $18.75/tonne to CFR Japan quotes, is scheduled to be delivered into Yeosu in the first half of May. The second cargo, priced at plus $19.25/tonne to CFR Japan quotes, is scheduled to be delivered into Daesan during the same period.
LG Chem last bought by tender 25,000 tonnes of open-spec naphtha for delivery into Yeosu in the second half of March at plus $19.50-2.00/tonne to CFR Japan quotes.
The CFR Japan prices of naphtha were at $1,075.50-1,078.50/tonne on Wednesday morning, up by $2.00/tonne from Tuesday.
“We can expect premiums paid for spot naphtha cargoes to continue falling as cracker operators are no longer in a hurry to stock up on inventories. If the price is not right, the cracker operators will just wait,” said a trader.
($1 = €0.76)
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