11 July 2007 13:15 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Strong crude values are keeping naphtha prices above $700/tonne but lacklustre demand had led to a narrowing of the crack spread, traders said on Wednesday.?xml:namespace>
Open-spec naphtha was last assessed at $703-708/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE (northwest ?xml:namespace>
The July crack spread was seen weakening as the naphtha market failed to keep up with the strength of the crude market after demand from gasoline blenders eased, partly due to a lack of arbitrage options from Europe to the
The crack spread, which offers an indication of the naphtha premium over crude, has weakened from a high of $4.50/bbl last week down to $2.20-2.50/bbl heard on Wednesday morning.
Supplies remain ample in Europe.
For the first five months of 2007, Europe and Mediterranean material was steadily being exported to
With increased Indian exports to the rest of
The Europe to
The near-term outlook for naphtha was unclear. Profit-taking in the crude market could force downward pressure on the European naphtha market, analysts said.
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