06 January 2010 10:20 [Source: ICIS news]
SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Asian aromatics producers have reduced their operating rates due to a naphtha supply crunch that has driven up crack spreads to near 20-month-high levels, traders said on Wednesday.
Regional naphtha demand has been robust, with ?xml:namespace>
In response to the supply crunch, some paraxylene (PX) players had reduced their rates.
For example, both of Idemitsu Kosan's PX lines were operating at 80-90% this month, and those rates would continue into February, traders said.
Several aromatics units in
In Japan, hydrodealkylation (HDA) and toluene disproportionation (TDP) units were operating at 35-50%, as the lack of naphtha feedstock resulted in tight toluene supply, traders said.
According to traders, around 500,000 tonnes of European naphtha had been earmarked for
“The delays in European shipments are supporting [naphtha] prices in the prompt month,” said a trader in
The prompt intermonth spread widened to $8.00/tonne from $5.00/tonne earlier in the week, underscoring the price strength.
Spot naphtha price premiums were also rising quickly to nearly $40/tonne FOB (free on board)
Additional reporting by Bohan Loh, Ong Sheau Ling and Peh Soo Hwee
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