June 5, 2012 / 9:37 AM / 5 years ago

Asia Naphtha-YNCC pays lowest premiums in 6 mths

SINGAPORE, June 5 (Reuters) - YNCC bought a naphtha cargo at $1.50-$2.00 a tonne above Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, making this the lowest premium in South Korea in six months, traders said on Tuesday.

The petrochemical maker bought the 25,000-tonne cargo for first-half July arrival, a day after South Korea's top ethylene maker Honam had purchased about 50,000 tonnes for the same arrival period at premiums of about $3.50-$4.50 a tonne.

Demand was slow, and sellers were increasingly concerned that weak global economy could cause buying interest to stall.

YNCC has cut utilization rates at its 1.9 million tonnes per year cracking complex to about 90 percent of its capacity since May 25 to combat weak petrochemical margins.

It used to be South Korea's top naphtha ethylene producer before Honam expanded its total capacity of two crackers to 2 million tpy. (Reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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