Asia Naphtha/Gasoline-Cracks supported by strong demand

Asia’s gasoline crack hit a four-week high of $10.10 a barrel on a supply shortage from the United Arab Emirates while naphtha was supported by firm demand from petrochemical makers.

Asia’s naphtha front-month price for first-half May was $2.50 higher than first-half June, making this the widest backwardation in a week between the values of the prompt and following months.
* SPOT DEALS: South Korea’s Hanwha
Total bought naphtha for first-half May arrival at Daesan at premiums below $1 a tonne to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis. These were similar to the premiums Hanwha had paid in the previous session for 50,000 tonnes of naphtha for the same delivery period to Daesan.
– Japan’s Showa Denko also bought naphtha for first-half May delivery but to Oita at premiums at about $3 a tonne to Japan quotes on a C&F basis.
– GS Caltex had also purchased 50,000 tonnes of naphtha in the previous session for first-half May delivery at premiums of about $2 a tonne to Japan quotes on a C&F basis.
– Asia’s top naphtha importer Taiwanese Formosa was to seal a spot deal for naphtha arriving in first-half May but the results were not immediately clear.

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) is seeking a total of 316,000 tonnes of gasoline for shipment in May and June to help make up for a shortfall in its own production following a fire in January at its Ruwais refinery.

Petronas has completed 60 percent of the construction of its Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Pengerang, Malaysia. The project includes a 300,000 barrel per day (bpd) refinery and is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2019. – Japan’s No.2 oil refiner by sales, Idemitsu Kosan, plans to refine 9 percent less crude in April-June due to refinery maintenances and lower crude refining capacity.
Two gasoline deals but no trades on naphtha.
– Emirates National Oil Co (ENOC) sold both the 92-octane grade gasoline cargoes for April 19-23 loading at $61.90 a barrel respectively to Trafigura and Unipec.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Seng Li Peng, editing by David Evans)