15 May 2008 04:31 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asian naphtha has touched a new record high of $1022/tonne on high crude values, industry sources said on Thursday.
The naphtha was traded on a CFR (cost and freight) Japan basis late on Wednesday as Mitsui Oil Asia Hong Kong sold the first half of July contract to Sojitz. The contract also traded at $1,021/tonne between Shell and Trafigura.
The contract had first hit a record high at $1,002/tonne last week. Second half June prices closed late Wednesday at $1,019.25-1,020.25/tonne. The first half July contract was notionally pegged at $1,020.50-1,021.50/tonne and second half July at $1,021.75-1,022.75/tonne.
Prices opened softer on Thursday with second half June indications pegged at $1,009-1,012/tonne, first half July at $1,009.50-1,012.50/tonne and second half July at $1,010-1,013/tonne.
US crude futures, which had earlier crossed the $126/barrel mark, had since softened to below $124/barrel due to an increase in US distillate stocks and a strengthening dollar.
Gains in the naphtha markets had slowed tremendously late last week due to the recent outage at South Korea’s Yeochun Naphtha Cracking Center (YNCC). But they recovered after the YNCC restarted its naphtha crackers this week.
Asian naphtha had gained 8.14% as against gains of 11.51% in the Brent crude markets since early May.
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