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Asia Naphtha/Gasoline-Naphtha Crack up on Algeria Delays

Source: Reuters 4/23/2014, Location: Africa

The Asian naphtha crack rose to a three-month high of $151.88 a tonne, supported by expectations of tighter prompt supplies due to delays from the Mediterranean.

Algeria has reduced naphtha output and is delaying some naphtha exports, traders said. But the reasons behind the delays were unclear.

The export delay in Algeria outweighed the shutdown by JX Nippon Oil & Energy of a 443,000 tonnes-per-year cracker in Kawasaki, which uses naphtha as feedstock.

"The JX impact on naphtha demand may not be big," a Singapore-based trader said.

The delay also came at a time of strong gasoline demand in the United States, traders said.

Naphtha can be reformed into motor fuel.

NAPHTHA TENDERS:
India's HPCL sold 25,000 to 30,000 tonnes of naphtha to Glencore for first-half May lifting from Vizag at premiums of around $35 a tonne to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.

ONGC sold 35,000 tonnes of naphtha for May 7-8 loading from Hazira to Gunvor at a premium of about $30 a tonne to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis.

GASOLINE SLIPS
The Asian gasoline crack eased by nearly 3.6 percent to a four-session low of $9.75 a barrel, but this could be temporary as firm U.S. demand for gasoline is likely to lift sellers' sentiment in the east.

Two deals totalling 100,000 barrels were done in the Singapore cash market and 50,000 barrels on Tuesday, compared with 500,000 barrels done on April 17.

SINGAPORE CASH DEALS:
Three deals, with two on gasoline and one on naphtha.

Vitol bought a 92-octane gasoline cargo for May 19-23 loading from Glencore at $119.10 a barrel, while Sietco bought a 95-octane gasoline cargo from PetroChina for May 19-23 loading at $122.60 a barrel.

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