UpdateIndia cuts September naphtha exports by around 30%

28 August 2012 04:00  [Source: ICIS news]

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SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Indian refiners are estimated to slash naphtha exports to 500,000-600,000 tonnes in September, down by 29-33% from a monthly average of 700,000-900,000 tonnes, because of higher domestic demand for the petrochemical feedstock, traders said on Tuesday.

Some refinery maintenance will see a reduction in naphtha output in India, hence that will limit exports, they added.

“The [Indian] refiners are definitely keen to produce more gasoline than naphtha,” said a trader.

Some naphtha is being diverted to the gasoline blending pool, given strong demand for gasoline, traders said.

Asia’s naphtha crack spread surged to a four-month high of $130.55/tonne (€104.44/tonne) on Monday, according to ICIS data.

Higher domestic naphtha requirement in India also sapped export availabilities, traders said.

India’s Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd (HPL) will reduce dependency on imported naphtha over the next six months, as part of its measures to cut cost and working capital requirements.

Its annual naphtha imports should fall to 12m tonnes in 2012, with a 60% share in its total 20m-tonne requirements for the petrochemical feedstock, down from 80% in the previous years. Talks were on with Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) and Mangalore Refineries and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) for domestic sourcing of naphtha for HPL in view of the weakening Indian rupee.

HPL runs a petrochemical complex in eastern Indian port town of Haldia with a nameplate naphtha cracking capacity of 670,000 tonnes/ year.

India’s Reliance also did not offer naphtha for September in the spot market, and that further drained Indian naphtha export availabilities, traders said.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Felicia Loo

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