Asia deep-sea naphtha volumes seen weaker in May

20 March 2014 03:32 Source:ICIS News

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SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Some 230,000 tonnes of western deep-sea naphtha supply will be bound for Asia in May, traders said on Thursday.

Those were the confirmed quantities, they said.

There were some pending fixtures and should they firm up, the arbitrage volumes would add up to half a million tonnes, still comparatively weaker than close to a million tonnes of deep-sea supply that Asia will be receiving in April, traders said.

The volumes tumbled from the 1.6m-1.7m tonnes of arbitrage supply landing in Asia in March, traders said.

Net-short Asia usually imports naphtha from northwest Europe, the Mediterranean, Russia and the US.

A major reason for the falling arbitrage supply is the burgeoning gasoline demand in Europe, where refiners are gearing to meet auto fuel stockpiling in the US ahead of the summer driving season.

Besides that, strong gasoline demand in West Africa had helped to bolster blending consumption in Europe, traders said.

Open-spec naphtha prices for first-half May rose by $1.50/tonne at the high end of the range to $927-930.50/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Japan on Thursday morning, despite lower crude overnight, because of a reduction in arbitrage supply.​

By Felicia Loo