Asia naphtha rises to $910/tonne on Japan’s refinery outage

08 October 2013 12:00  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s open-spec naphtha prices rose to a seventh-session high on Tuesday, reversing Monday’s losses owing to a refinery outage in Japan, which is a major petrochemical player, traders said.

The second-half November contract rose by $18.75/tonne from Monday to $909.00-911.00/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Japan, erasing the losses of $14.25/tonne on 7 October, ICIS data showed.

At the close of trade on Tuesday, the first-half December contract was traded at $909/tonne and at $910/tonne, traders said.

Japan’s JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp shut a 110,000 bbl/day crude topper unit at its Mizushima B refinery in Okayama prefecture following a fire on 7 October.

All other units at the site are currently operating normally, and the company has yet to fix a timeline for the restart of the No 3 unit, a company source said.

The fire occurred at the No 3 unit at around 17:00 Japan time (08:00 GMT) and was extinguished more than two hours later.

The refinery fire could spur Japan to seek more naphtha overseas, hence a booster to prices.

However, fundamentally, the overall Asian naphtha market remained awash with supply, as reflected in the weakening of the intermonth spreads to parity levels, traders said.

The intermonth naphtha spread between the second-half November and the second-half December contracts was at parity on Tuesday, from a backwardation of $1.50/tonne a day ago, ICIS data showed.

($1 = €0.74)

By: Felicia Loo

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