Asia Naphtha-India's BPCL sells end-Oct cargo to Unipec


SINGAPORE, Oct 11 (Reuters) - Indian Bharat Petroleum CorpLtd (BPCL) sold a naphtha cargo to Unipec for about $26 a tonneabove Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, down byas much as a third on spot prices for two previous Octobercargoes, traders said on Thursday.

The fall in premiums was not seen as an indication of asofter market and traders attributed it to the cargo size, asBPCL usually exports 35,000 tonnes out of Mumbai.

"But this time, the cargo size is smaller," said a trader.

The 30,000-tonne cargo is scheduled for Oct. 29-31 loadingfrom Mumbai.

Usually, the smaller the cargo, the lower the price sincetraders are not able to maximize the freight rates.

The strong naphtha market may have been a reason why BPCLdecided to sell about 14.5 percent less of its usual volumes, asecond trader said.

"They can sell the smaller parcels later," said the trader.

BPCL usually exports up to 140,000 tonnes of naphtha amonth, including quarterly term cargoes, from its Mumbairefinery, which had shut a crude distillation unit for amaintenance last month.

The maintenance ended around Sept. 20.

(Reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Ed Davies)

((lipeng.seng@thomsonreuters.com)(+65 6870 3086)(ReutersMessaging: lipeng.seng.reuters.com@reuters.net))