Saudi Aramco eyes rare naphtha sale on delivered basis: sources
Singapore (Platts)--20Jul2012/735 am EDT/1135 GMT
State-owned Saudi Aramco has, in a rare move, placed a vessel on
subjects to ship a July-loading cargo of naphtha to Japan from Saudi Arabia,
market sources said.
Aramco typically sells naphtha on a FOB basis.
According to shipping sources, Aramco has the New Challenge on subjects
to ship 55,000 mt of naphtha from Ras Tanura to Japan, loading July 30, at
w127.5. Subjects are due to lift Monday.
The Middle Eastern giant supplies A180 and A310 naphtha from Ras Tanura.
The former is a paraffinic grade of naphtha, while the A310 is a
splitter naphtha grade. But details such as the specific naphtha grade being
shipped or whether the parcel is being marketed on a CFR or CIF basis could
not be confirmed as Aramco officials could not be reached for comment Friday.
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On a CFR basis, the seller of the cargo pays for the costs and freight
to ship the goods to the delivery port but does not pay for cargo insurance,
while on a CIF basis, the seller does the same but also pays for cargo
Aramco was last heard to have placed the SCF Prudencia for a Red Sea to
Japan voyage, to ship 55,000 mt of naphtha for a mid-June voyage.
It could not be confirmed Friday if the vessel was fully fixed.
Platts had reported in early June that Aramco was considering selling
its A180 naphtha grade via 'alternative channels' due to slow term naphtha
sales for the second half of this year.
Sources had said then that the company was exploring spot naphtha sales
in the form of structured deals, which would see Aramco approaching customers
in North Asia to explore the possibility of delivering naphtha and doing a
back-haul shipment of gasoline and gasoil cargoes to Saudi Arabia to meet the
country's demand for these products.
On January 1, Saudi Aramco's new wholly owned subsidiary, Aramco
Trading, replaced the product sales and marketing department, the unit which
previously handled term and spot naphtha sales.
Trade sources had said that the new trading unit would aim, among other
things, to explore greater flexibility in offering trading options and
arrangements with its buyers.
--Wanda Wang, firstname.lastname@example.org
--Clarice Chiam, email@example.com
--Edited by Martin O'Rourke, firstname.lastname@example.org