24 December 2007 03:49 [Source: ICIS news]
By Nurul Darni
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asia’s naphtha market may tread on a softer note in 2008 from heavier cracker turnarounds planned in the northeast in the second half, traders said on Monday.
Asia's naphtha bull run of the past few months in 2007 is also expected to slow in the year ahead due to expectations of more Western arbitrage cargoes heading East in the first quarter.
“Asia has seen the strongest performance in 2007 and thanks to current high (naphtha prices), the region is drawing more cargoes from Europe and the ?xml:namespace>
Open spec naphtha prices in
Naphtha prices in the West, in contrast, have weakened gradually and could continue to fall in the first quarter of 2008 as European refiners raised output after completing their turnaround season, said a Northeast Asian trader.
Asian cracker operators (excluding
Helping to partly offset the tight supply caused by
A spanner in the works would be from
Asia has seen rising naphtha exports from India in late 2007, with volumes reaching as high as 1m tonnes for September and October loading respectively. But for November and December loading, Indian exports declined to less than 1m tonnes as domestic naphtha consumption from
But more European naphtha arbitrage supplies could still flow into
($1 = €0.70)
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