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Asia Naphtha/Gasoline-Gasoline at 3-wk high; brisk naphtha demand

Asia’s naphtha crack edged up to $75.23 a tonne on Wednesday, supported by firm demand and weaker Brent crude, traders said. South Korea’s Lotte Chemical is in talks to buy naphtha for June 2017 to May 2018 delivery and this came shortly after YNCC and LG Chem had recently closed their term deals with sellers at discounts. Spot demand was also brisk, with South Korea’s GS Caltex, SK Energy and Japanese Idemitsu having bought a total of over 100,000 tonnes of naphtha in the previous session for first-half May delivery.

The grades, comprising heavy full-range and full-range naphtha, were bought at premiums ranging from $3.25 to $5 a tonne to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis. Unipec was also in the market this week but traders said the Chinese buyer may still be in talks to buy the cargo for first-half May delivery to Shanghai. “The market has firmed compared with two weeks ago as supplies have tightened,” said a North Asian trader.

NAPHTHA TENDERS: Thai’s PTT has bought up to 32,000 tonnes of naphtha from Indian Oil Corp (IOC) last week at discounts to the refiner’s formula on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.

The cargoes comprised one of up to 17,000 tonnes for April 13-14 loading from Paradip and another 15,000 tonnes for March 24-26 loading from Haldia. GASOLINE FIRMS: Asia’s gasoline crack at $9.73 a barrel was at its highest since Feb. 28 mirroring stronger sentiment in the West. Demand for cargoes was strong in West Africa, resulting in more than 390,000 tonnes of gasoline being booked over the past week to sail to the region from Europe, according to Reuters shipping data.

SINGAPORE CASH DEALS: Five deals, of which four were on gasoline and one on naphtha. PTT sold three of the four gasoline cargoes at $60.50 a barrel each.

LIGHT DISTILLATES CASH ($/T) ASIA CLOSE Change % Change Prev Close RIC OSN Naphtha CFR Japan M1 456.00 -8.75 -1.88 464.75 OSN Naphtha CFR Japan M2 453.50 -10.25 -2.21 463.75 OSN Naphtha Diff 2.50 1.50 150.00 1.00 Naphtha Netback FOB Sing 49.03 -0.97 -1.94 50.00 Naphtha Diff FOB Sing 0.35 0.15 75.00 0.20 Naphtha-Brent Crack 75.23 0.78 1.05 74.45 Gasoline 97 63.80 -1.00 -1.54 64.80 Gasoline 95 62.70 -1.00 -1.57 63.70 Gasoline 92 60.50 -1.00 -1.63 61.50 Gasoline crack 9.73 0.27 2.85 9.46

Brent M1 Naphtha CFR Japan M1 Naphtha CFR Japan M1/M2 Naphtha CFR Japan M2 Naphtha Japan-Sing Netback M1 Naphtha Japan-Sing Netback M2 Naphtha FOB Sing M1 Naphtha FOB Sing M1/M2 Naphtha FOB Sing M2 Naphtha Cracks M1 East-West Naphtha M1 East-West Naphtha M2 NWE Naphtha M1 NWE Naphtha M1/M2 NWE Naphtha M2 Crack NWE Naphtha-Brent M1 Crack NWE Naphtha-Brent M2

*Sing refers to Singapore
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Seng Li Peng, editing by Louise Heavens)

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