India's Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) and Reliance Industries have sold a total of 70,000 tonnes of naphtha at steep premiums, traders said on Monday.
Reliance has sold 35,000 tonnes of open-spec naphtha for late January loading to Total at premiums of about $36 a tonne to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.
MRPL also sold 35,000 tonnes to Petro-Diamond for Feb. 8-10 loading from New Mangalore at premiums of about $44 a tonne to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis.
MRPL had previously sold two spot cargoes for January liftings at premiums of $42 and $45 respectively.
Some traders were convinced that the weakness in the market will be short-lived even though the Asian naphtha margin fell to a three-week low of $111.64 a tonne on Friday due to expectations of more European cargoes coming to the East in February versus January.
This is because Asia is in need of cargoes especially as refiners in South Korea, a key naphtha importer, are due to undergo heavy maintenance.