Kuwait Petroleum sells spot naphtha above Mideast quotes
Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) has sold nearly 75,000-80,000 tonnes of spot naphtha for April lifting at levels in the low $20.00 (Dh73.50) a tonne above Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, similar to previous levels despite talk of a softer market ahead, traders said yesterday. KPC sold 50,000-55,000 tonnes of full-range naphtha and 24,000 tonnes of light naphtha for first-half April loading late on Thursday to undisclosed traders.
"But there was some rescheduling in [delivery] dates," said a trader, who did not elaborate on why dates had to be adjusted.
The state-owned refiner does not usually sell spot full-range naphtha due to term commitment.
In February, KPC sold 50,000 tonnes of full-range naphtha on a spot basis for mid-February lifting to Vitol at a premium of $24.00 a tonne FOB after a shutdown of its aromatics plant. The plant has since restarted.
The petrochemicals unit uses full-range naphtha as its feedstock to produce aromatics and light naphtha, which is sold on spot basis.
The current spot full-range naphtha premium is close to its term price for supplies lifting April 2010-March 2011 at $22.00 a tonne above Middle East quotes FOB, highest it has ever fetched for all its term deals. However, traders said sentiment has been weakening due to falling petrochemicals margins.
Cracks, the premiums/losses obtained from refining Brent crude into naphtha, fell to $135.75 a tonne on Thursday, after they hit a six-week high at $164.03 a tonne on March 3.
Qatar sells 9 cargoes of heavy sour grade
Qatar has sold up to nine cargoes of Al Shaheen heavy sour crude for loading in May at slightly lower prices than for lots loading a month earlier.
Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Co, also known as Tasweeq, sold the 600,000-barrel cargoes at discounts as wide as $1.80 a barrel to Dubai quotes, with several parcels trading at a discount of around $1.60-$1.70, traders said.
The main buyers of the heavy sour grade were heard to be ExxonMobil, but this could not be confirmed, traders said. The discounts were a little steeper than up to a $1.60 discount set for April-loading cargoes.