Asia naphtha crack spread hits three-week high at $47.33/tonne

26 June 2012 11:00  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia naphtha crack spread rose to a three-week high on Tuesday as buying momentum for prompt cargoes picked up, traders said on Tuesday.

At the close of Tuesday’s trade, the crack spread between first-half August open-spec naphtha and August Brent crude futures rose to $47.33/tonne (€37.86/tonne), up 65% on the previous day, according to ICIS.

The first-half August naphtha contract firmed to $732.50-734.50/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Japan, up by $27.00/tonne from Monday, ICIS data showed.

The inter-month spread between first-half August and first-half September naphtha contracts has also flattened, snapping 12 straight sessions of contango market.

Subsequent inter-month contango spreads have likewise narrowed.

The spread between second-half of August and second-half September contracts was at a contango of minus $0.50/tonne on  Tuesday, from minus $2.00/tonne on 25 June.

“Sentiment is better because of the higher ethylene and butadiene prices,” a Singapore-based trader said, adding that there was firm buying interest for prompt cargoes by South Korean cracker operators.

For instance, Honam bought two spot cargoes late on 25 June for second-half July delivery at a discount to CFR Japan quotes.

South Korean cracker operators are buying spot naphtha in anticipation of less deep-sea cargoes from Europe flowing into Asia in August, traders said.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Ong Sheau Ling
+65 6780 4359

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