UpdateIndia’s refiners to reduce April naphtha exports by 7-13%

26 March 2013 02:55  [Source: ICIS news]

(Adds details to paragraphs 3, 6-9 )

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--India’s refiners will reduce naphtha exports to 650,000-700,000 tonnes in April, down from an estimated volume of 750,000 tonnes shipped out in March, traders said on Tuesday.

The March volumes climbed up to 750,000 tonnes from an initial estimate of 600,000 tonnes, because higher premiums and the end of the fiscal year prompted the Indian refiners to offload more cargoes in the market, they added.

Companies typically prefer to hold lower inventories at the close of the financial year.

“Now that the premiums are coming off, there is no point to force the [naphtha] barrels out. Cracking per barrel wise, the middle and heavy cuts makes better money than naphtha,” said one trader, referring to gas oil and jet-kerosene, and heavy residual fuel oil.

Open-spec first-half May contract dropped by 50 cents (€0.40) on 26 March morning to $933.50-936.50/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Japan, ICIS data showed.

The spot premiums have dwindled recently, in response to weakening downstream plastics demand, traders said.

Indian state-owned refiner Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) sold by tender a 35,000 tonne naphtha cargo to oil major BP for loading from Hazira on 13-14 April. The deal for the cargo was done at a premium of $49.50/tonne to Middle East quotes FOB (free on board).

In its last tender, ONGC sold 35,000 tonnes of naphtha to Japanese company Idemitsu for loading from Mumbai on 7-8 April, at a premium of $62.50/tonne to Middle East quotes FOB.

In an earlier tender, ONGC sold 35,000 tonnes of naphtha for loading from Hazira on 27-28 March. The deal for the cargo was done at a premium of $57.80/tonne to Middle East quotes FOB, and the buyer was Japanese trading firm Marubeni.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Felicia Loo

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