Saudi Aramco, top naphtha supplier to Asia, has sold 55,000 tons of A310 naphtha from Ras Tanura after a long suspension as supply of the grade was curbed because of planned maintenance, traders said on Tuesday.
The cargo, scheduled for May 24-25 loading, was sold at premiums of $31-$33 per ton to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis, but traders said the identity of the buyer was not immediately clear.
Saudi Arabia Oil Co restarted a 225,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) condensate splitter in early May. The unit is estimated to produce at least 150,000 tons of A310 grade naphtha per month, traders said.
The shutdown in February was one of the factors contributing to the tight supply situation in Asia in January to April. But the market tide changed at the start of May with demand falling and supply rising.
Petrochemical makers were able to replace a higher portion of their naphtha feedstock with liquefied petroleum gas as prices for LPG fell with the end of winter demand.