SINGAPORE: Asia's naphtha crack hit a 5-1/2-week high of $48.73 a tonne on Thursday as robust demand from petrochemical makers supported the market.

South Korea's Hanwha Total bought heavy full-range naphtha for second-half July arrival at Daesan at premiums of more than $5 a tonne to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis. This is about double what Hanwha Total had paid on May 27, reflecting that supplies have tightened since.

Titan, LG Chem and PCS have also snapped up cargoes for second-half July delivery this week. As for offers, India's Bharat Petroleum Corp Ltd (BPCL) has offered 35,000 tonnes of the fuel for June 27-28 loading from Kochi through a tender due to be awarded on June 8.

BPCL had recently sold 35,000 tonnes of naphtha for June 14-15 loading from Kochi to Marubeni at premiums of about $15 to $16 to its own price formula on a free-on-board (FOB) basis. Bahrain's Bapco offered 50,000 tonnes of naphtha for June 29-30 loading from Sitra port via a tender also due to be awarded on June 8.

Asia's gasoline crack fell to 13 cents, having flipped to a premium of 37 cents to Brent in the previous session, after persisting at discounts for two straight weeks.

Copyright Reuters, 2020