Kuwait Breaks Records with Almost Three-Year High Naphthalene Exports in March
- 05-Apr-2023 10:52 AM
- Journalist: Harold Finch
Kuwait: Kuwait set a new milestone in March 2023, when its exports of naphtha reached a level not seen since at least 2019. This accomplishment was made possible in large part by the recent opening of the second phase of the al-Zour refinery, which has a daily capacity of more than 204,000 barrels and raises the plant's overall capacity to over 409,000 barrels per day. In comparison to the 520,000 tonnes exported by Kuwait in February and the 419,000 tonnes exported in March 2022, 802,000 tonnes (7.14 million barrels) were exported in March. Due to these developments, the al-Zour refinery is now capable of producing 3 million tonnes of petrochemical-grade naphtha annually at full capacity.
According to recent sources, Singapore has supplanted Japan as Kuwait is main export market for naphtha, taking in 193,000 tons overall in the previous month. As a result, Kuwait is now Singapore's second-largest supplier of naphtha, behind Russia.
Furthermore, only 181,000 tons, or around 25% of the total exports, of naphtha were sent from Japan, with the remaining quantities going to Egypt, India, and China. However, it is important to note that shipments to Japan decreased by about 92,000 tons from the previous month, which reflects the region's lower working capacity of naphtha crackers. The fact that Kuwait transported 65,000 tons of naphtha to India's Hazira port between March 14 and 16 is an additional intriguing event. This was the first shipment of this kind since December. But the recent increase in the import tax on naphtha in India, from 1% to 2.5%, would discourage further imports.
The Middle East Gulf region exported 4.08 million tonnes of naphtha in total in March, up from the 3.52 million tonnes and 3.94 million tonnes reported in February and January, respectively. Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC), a regulator of gasoline, has started supplying batches of spot gasoline in response to the integration of two refineries, particularly Mina Abdullah and Mina al-Ahmadi, as a part of the Clean Fuels Project. Mina Abdullah exported 9,500 tonnes of gasoline in the first quarter of 2022 as opposed to 8,300 tonnes during the same period in the previous year as a result of the effort. In 2022, Kuwait is refinery will produce 754,000 barrels per day, an increase of almost 20%.