UpdateAsian naphtha prices surge to nine-month high on firm Brent

09 February 2012 09:35  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s open-spec naphtha prices surged to a nine-month high on Thursday, closing at near $1,030/tonne (€773/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) Japan in line with strong Brent crude futures, traders said.

The contract rose by $8-9/tonne to $1,028-1,030/tonne CFR Japan in line with crude-driven gains during afternoon trade, from levels earlier in the session – the highest since 11 May 2011, according to ICIS data.

There was a deal done during open-market trade on Thursday, with UK-based Cargill buying a naphtha cargo for the first half of April from Shell at $1,021/tonne CFR Japan.

Brent crude futures are rising to $118/bbl partly because of threats from Iran to cut oil exports to the EU.

“There are [naphtha] supply constraints in Asia,” said a trader, explaining the surge in naphtha prices.

On the other hand, demand remains firm because of a lighter cracker turnaround schedule compared to last year, according to an ICIS survey.

The inter-month spread between the contracts for the second half of March and the second half of April widened to $15/tonne in backwardation from $12.50/tonne in the previous week, the ICIS data showed.

($1 = €0.75)


By: Felicia Loo



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