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South Korea end-users seal term naphtha supply amid weak spot market

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South Korea end-users seal term naphtha supply amid weak spot market

Singapore — Low cash differentials for spot cargoes against a backdrop of weak Asian naphtha complex have prompted a few South Korean olefins producers to secure feedstocks ahead for the year.

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Both Lotte Chemical and Yeochun NCC have secured paraffinic naphtha supply for delivery over August 2019-July 2020 during the week of May 13-17, sources close to the company confirmed Tuesday.

Yeochun NCC has inked the one-year contract for minimum 70% paraffin content naphtha at a premium of $1.00/mt to the Mean of Platts Japan naphtha physical, CFR basis, while Lotte Chemical has sealed the contract around a similar premium.

The total volume procured by both companies, however could not be confirmed. But it was widely believed that YNCC secured around 300,000 mt in the contract, or around one Medium Range cargo to be delivered each month.

Cash differentials for CFR Korea spot paraffinic naphtha cargoes have slumped to the weakest point this year, at minus $1.75/mt to the Mean of Platts Japan naphtha physical Tuesday, amid a supply overhang in the region.

--Sue Koh, sue.koh@spglobal.com

--Edited by Nurul Darni, nurul.indriani.darni@spglobal.com