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Syria reformer down; set to export more naphtha

Syria has been shipping out some volumes since the outage.

October 21, 2010 12:37 by

Syria is expected to export 165,000-180,000 tonnes of naphtha a month until year-end following an outage at its gasoline reformer since August, traders said on Thursday.

The reason for the outage at the reformer, which processes naphtha into gasoline, was not immediately known. Syria, not a regular exporter of naphtha to Asia, has been shipping out some volumes since the outage.

Trafigura will lift 60,000 tonnes of the Syrian high-sulphur naphtha grade around Oct. 24 on the tanker Qi Lin Zou.

The vessel is put on provisional booking to either land in the West or Asia, with traders expecting it to anchor in the East despite a technically shut arbitrage window.

“The reason why it will come East is because the Banias naphtha has high sulphur which European naphtha crackers shun,” said a North Asian trader.

Shell was originally eyeing the cargo, but Trafigura won the tender, traders added.

(Reporting by Seng Li Peng; Editing by Ramthan Hussain)

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