26 September 2008 14:12 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Europe naphtha crack spread values hit -$9.60/bbl on Friday, the lowest seen in almost two months on very thin global gasoline and petrochemical trading conditions, traders said.
Values reached a seven-month high two weeks ago, climbing up to -$1.50/bbl, over expectations of serious damage from Hurricane Ike to Gulf of Mexico oil production facilities.
Yet demand for feedstock in the gasoline pool was seen by market players as especially quiet, while some traders were hopeful that the extended hurricane season refinery shutdowns in the ?xml:namespace>
However, there appeared to be a global slump in gasoline demand.
With the summer driving season over, and the fourth-quarter refinery turnaround season under way gasoline traders reported low demand in
"It’s a very thin market at the moment," said one trader.
After the EIA (Energy Information Administration) reported on Wednesday a 2.2% fall in daily
With petrochemical demand for naphtha remaining very low, traders could see few indicators of a short-term improvement.
"There is a $6/tonne contango between October and November at the moment, which is not particularly big," reported one source.
"Everyone’s just scared to touch [naphtha] with what’s going on these days," added another.
Open spec spot naphtha cargoes were assessed in a range of $824-834/tonne CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE (northwest Europe), down $13/tonne on the buy-side of the range set at the end of trading on Thursday.
October swaps were pegged at $825-827/tonne CIF NWE.
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