SINGAPORE, Oct 12 (Reuters) - The Asian naphtha price andmargins ended the week at a three-session low of $985 a tonneand $123.03 a tonne respectively to mirror the fall in Europeanvalues as gasoline demand softened.
Naphtha can be reformed into gasoline.
"The fall in margins today was a reflection of the gasolinemarket in Europe," said a Singapore-based trader.
Traders added that West African demand for gasoline fromEurope were seen weaker and if this persists, it could lead tomore naphtha cargoes being pushed to Asia.
The U.S. is also seeing higher gasoline stocks, with totalinventories of specially made ultra-clean CARBOB gasoline inCalifornia, U.S., having risen to more than 5 million barrelsfor the first time in four weeks despite production disruption.
Chevron shut a crude distillation unit (CDU) in early Augustfollowing a fire at its Richmond plant. The CDU will not restartanytime within the next two months.
"The U.S. Gulf Coast light ends supplies are getting lesstight and its naphtha prices are falling. They will push outnaphtha from mid-November," said another Singapore-based trader.
But for now, tight prompt supplies versus healthy demand inAsia were keeping premiums firm.
South Korea's YNCC has bought around 75,000 tonnes ofopen-spec naphtha for second-half November delivery at premiumsof about $14.00 a tonne to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight(C&F) basis.
The purchase came a day after Honam had bought similarvolumes for November delivery at $13.00-$14.00 a tonne, whichwere the highest premium seen in South Korea in about 3-1/2weeks.
Taiwan's Formosa has so far bought two-three cargoes ofnaphtha feedstock for November arrival at Mailiao for its 2.93million tonnes per year (tpy) cracking complex, which iscurrently running at reduced rates. But price details were notavailable.
* NAPHTHA TENDERS/PRIVATE DEALS: Bahrain National GasCompany (Banagas) has offered a total of nearly 180,000 tonnesof naphtha for January-December 2013 lifting in a tender closingon Oct. 23. Bids will stay valid until Nov. 6.
- The expected number of cargoes, each at 25,000 tonnes, tobe lifted during the one-year period were 1 cargo for firstquarter, followed by two cargoes each for second-fourth quarter.
- India's Reliance Industries sold 25,000 tonnes of heavynaphtha for Oct. 21-25 loading from Sikka to Itochu, bringingthe country's total exports this month to nearly 870,000 tonnes,the highest seen this year.
- Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd sold 35,000tonnes of mid-November naphtha to Unipec at about $39-$40 pertonne above Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.
GASOLINE CRACKS AT 6-SESSION LOW
Asia's gasoline cracks dived 11.02 percent to reach asix-session low of $10.42 a barrel reflecting higher stocks inthe West.
Gasoline inventories held independently in theAmsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) hub jumped 17 percent to754,000 tonnes, boosted by imports from Finland, France, Spain,Sweden and the UK. Gasoline cargoes departed for Canada,Ireland, Mexico, Nigeria and the United States.
Over in Asia, however, fundamentals were mostly strong.
Formosa may reduce its gasoline exports in November by up totwo medium-range cargoes as it has shut a secondary unitfollowing a leak.
This came at a time when Vietnam was struggling with supplydisruption after its only plant shut in mid-week following aglitch at a gasoline-making unit.
Saigon Petro was the first among the Vietnamese retailers tohave secured a total of 20,000 tonnes of gasoline because of theplant trouble.
It bought 10,000 tonnes of 95-octane gasoline for prompt Oct.18-22 lifting from Singapore at premiums of $3.50-$4.00 a barreland another 10,000 tonnes of the same grade for Oct. 26-30loading from Singapore at premiums of about $2.00-$2.20 abarrel.
The price formula is based on Singapore quotes on a FOBbasis.
* SINGAPORE CASH DEALS: Four deals, with three on gasoline.
- Arcadia sold a 95-octane gasoline cargo for Oct. 30 toNov. 3 loading to Shell at $129.20 a barrel.
- It has also sold a 92-octane gasoline cargo to Gunvor forNov. 7-11 loading at $125.60 a barrel.
- BP sold a 92-octane gasoline cargo for Nov. 1-5 loading toTrafigura at $125.10 a barrel.
- On naphtha, Mabanaft sold a first-half December/first-halfMarch spread deal to BP at $30 a tonne.
LIGHT DISTILLATESCASH ($/T) ASIA CLOSE Change % Prev RICChang CloseOSN Naphtha CFR Japan M1 985.00 -4.50 -0.45 989.50OSN Naphtha CFR Japan M2 971.50 -3.50 -0.36 975.00OSN Naphtha Diff 13.50 -1.00 -6.90 14.50Naphtha Netback FOB Sing 106.89 -0.50 -0.47 107.39Naphtha Diff FOB Sing 1.64 -0.05 -2.96 1.69Naphtha-Brent Crack 123.03 -2.92 -2.32 125.95Gasoline 97 131.90 -2.10 -1.56 134.00Gasoline 95 129.18 -1.72 -1.31 130.90Gasoline 92 125.35 -1.50 -1.18 126.85Gasoline crack 10.42 -1.29 -11.0 11.71SWAPS ($/T) ASIA CLOSE Change % Prev RIC(0830 GMT) Chang CloseBrent M1 114.94 -0.20 -0.17 115.14Naphtha CFR Japan M1 970.50 -6.50 -0.67 977.00Naphtha CFR Japan M1/M2 9.50 0.50 5.56 9.00Naphtha CFR Japan M2 961.00 -7.00 -0.72 968.00Naphtha Japan-Sing Netback M1 10.65 -1.10 -9.36 11.75Naphtha Japan-Sing Netback M2 13.75 -1.15 -7.72 14.90Naphtha FOB Sing M1 106.65 -0.60 -0.56 107.25Naphtha FOB Sing M1/M2 1.40 0.05 3.70 1.35Naphtha FOB Sing M2 105.25 -0.65 -0.61 105.90Naphtha Cracks M1 -8.16 -0.58 7.65 -7.58East-West Naphtha M1 -6.00 0.00 0.00 -6.00East-West Naphtha M2 7.25 1.00 16.00 6.25NWE Naphtha M1 976.50 -6.50 -0.66 983.00NWE Naphtha M1/M2 22.75 1.50 7.06 21.25NWE Naphtha M2 953.75 -8.00 -0.83 961.75Crack NWE Naphtha-Brent M1 -8.97 -0.69 8.33 -8.28Crack NWE Naphtha-Brent M2 -8.89 -0.54 6.47 -8.35*Sing refers to Singapore
(Reporting by Seng Li Peng, editing by William Hardy)
Keywords: MARKETS ASIA/NAPHTHA GASOLINE