KHOBAR, Saudi Arabia: The Middle East naphtha market remained weak due to plentiful spot supply from the region and lower petrochemical margins in Asia.
"There is a lot of spot selling… premiums are now at low single digits," a trader said.
The UAE’s ADNOC has offered a rare 75,000-tonne naphtha spot cargo for Aug. 10-12 loading from Ruwais. Saudi Aramco has offered a 50,000-tonne spot parcel from Jubail, at a time of falling sentiment, traders said on Tuesday.
Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) and Qatar’s Tasweeq are offering a total of 184,000 tons of naphtha for July loading, traders said on Tuesday.
"Unfortunately both markets (gasoline-naphtha) are not performing well," the trader said.
The Middle East fuel oil market continued to be among the strongest.
"Bunkers-wise demand has been good, premiums are stable as well, the market is fairly balanced," said a trader.
Exxon Mobil sold a high-viscosity fuel oil cargo for mid-July loading at steady price-levels into a tightening Middle East market, traders said on Wednesday.
The 90,000-tonne parcel of 700-centistoke (cst) fuel oil, for July 13-15 lifting from its joint-venture Samref refinery in Yanbu, was sold to a Middle East trader at a discount of $17.00-$18.00 a ton to Singapore spot quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, steady to the previous deal.
The gasoline market in the region has seen little activity, said the trader.
Regional prices were pinned at around Middle East naphtha plus $80, a second trader said.
"No activity…quiet market, not much demand in the region, supplies are abundant," said the first trader.
BP bought four cargoes of jet fuel from Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) at $1.15 per barrel for loading in July, a trader said.
Vitol bought a cargo of 500 parts per million (ppm) gas oil from Bahrain Petroleum Co at $2.50 per barrel, one trader said.
Gas oil prices were reflecting a tightening market, another trader said.
"Gas oil (supply) is very tight, demand is there, (prices) reflect reality," he added.