Asia naphtha soars on robust crude futures, Libya crisis

07 March 2011 03:53  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asian naphtha gained $4.50-5.50/tonne (€3.24-3.96/tonne) on Monday, tracking robust global crude futures amid a deepening crisis in Libya, traders said.

The second-half April naphtha contract was at $1,025-1,028/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Japan - the highest level seen since 4 July 2008. Last Friday, naphtha closed $15.50/tonne higher at $1,021-1,022/tonne CFR Japan, according to ICIS data.

At 03:00 GMT, NYMEX crude futures traded $1.55/bbl higher at $105.97/bbl, while London Brent crude futures rose by $1.10/bbl at $117.07/bbl.

Meanwhile, soaring naphtha prices might prompt some producers in Asia to tap on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for their multi-feed crackers.

LPG is now a much cheaper feedstock than naphtha.

Naphtha cracker operators will consider using LPG as feedstock when LPG prices are around 90-95% of naphtha values.

LPG prices were valued at $897.04-907.04/tonne on Monday morning, or around 88% of naphtha values, traders said.

($1 = €0.72)

For more on naphtha, visit ICIS chemical intelligence

By: Felicia Loo

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