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Qatar's Quarterly Sales Premiums Plunge at Least 40 %

Source: Reuters 9/15/2014, Location: Middle East

Qatar's Tasweeq has renewed its quarterly naphtha contracts with Asian buyers, including India's Reliance Industries, but at premiums that were at least 40 percent lower versus its third quarter contracts premiums, traders said.

The premiums for naphtha grades including full-range, plant condensate and gas-to-liquid (GTL) lifting in fourth quarter, were sealed at levels ranging from mid-to-high teens a tonne to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.

These were sharply lower compared to the low $30s-a-tonne premium for third quarter supplies.

Repeatedly high volumes of cargoes coming into Asia from Europe, the Mediterranean and the U.S. have brought prices down while demand for Tasweeq's naphtha from South Korea's Samsung Total Petrochemicals has been choked off since the third quarter.

Samsung Total dropped the quarterly contract as it has started up its own 150,000 barrels per day condensate splitter, which produces naphtha, in July.

While Reliance Industries also produces and sells naphtha, it imports Qatar's GTL grade from the Oryx plant, which traders said is used for making ethylene, a building block for plastics.

Tasweeq also sells GTL from Pearl, a joint-venture project between Qatar and Royal Dutch Shell.

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