Singapore: Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL) sold 30,000 tonnes of full-range naphtha for early-March delivery, a source said, putting more pressure on prices already suffering from higher supplies.
MRPL sold the cargo at a premium of $15-$17 a tonne to cargo, free on board (FOB) basis, to be loaded from New Mangalore port during 8-10 March, making it one of the first Indian naphtha exports for next month.
The price is lower than MRPL’s previous sale for a 25-27 February cargo from the the same western port at a premium of $19.00 a tonne to Middle East quotes.
Separately, state-run refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp sold 30,000 tonnes of low-aromatic naphtha to an oil major at $13-$14 a tonne above Middle East quotes, FOB, the source said.
The cargo, to be loaded from Mumbai, will be delivered during 20-24 Februry.
Indian Oil Corp (IOC) also sold three cargoes totalling 91,500-92,500 tonnes for loading between 20 February and 3 March to European trader Glencore, said another industry source, but prices were not yet known.
The recent transactions from MRPL, BPCL and IOC bring total Indian exports for February and early March to 542,500 tonnes so far, creeping back up toward the high monthly volumes of up to 1 million tonnes seen until November last year.
The recent volumes were up from just above 300,000 tonnes in January, when shipments were cut to meet demand from domestic utilities struggling from high gas prices, forcing them to turn to naphtha.
The higher supplies and slowing demand in the second quarter, when some Northeast Asian petrochemical plants are slated for maintenance, are forcing down the benchmark Asian open-spec naphtha premium to Brent to below $160 a tonne for the first time since late-November.
The benchmark open-spec naphtha contract for second-half March fell by $14.50 a tonne to $820.50 on Wednesday.