10 August 2012 04:42 [Source: ICIS news]
By Felicia Loo
Open-spec naphtha prices rose to a three-month peak of $935-938/tonne (€757-750/tonne) CFR (cost and freight)
Declining production in the North Sea and the crisis in the
“Naphtha is very volatile,” said a trader in
Asian naphtha prices closed at $922.50-924.50/tonne CFR
“The flat (naphtha) prices have increased in tandem with crude,” said another trader.
At the close of trade on Wednesday, the Asian naphtha crack spread for second-half September widened to $87.48/tonne against Brent crude futures, according to ICIS data. The crack spread was assessed at $86.65/tonne on Tuesday, compared with $96.13/tonne on 1 August, ICIS data showed.
Ethylene prices were stable at $1,130-1,170/tonne CFR NE Asia on Thursday’s close, ICIS data showed.
Ethylene customers were not under pressure to seek fresh spot cargoes, as weakness in downstream polyethylene market continued to dampen buying sentiment.
However, some argued that buyers were not in a rush to seek cargoes while supply remained ample.
“The market is generally balanced,” said one trader.
Weighing on prices is the absence of key spot buyer –
Meanwhile, naphtha buying activity from South Korean cracker operators was brisk as most of them were running their plants at 100%, traders said.
“There is also quite a lot of supply from the
Qatar International Petroleum Marketing (Tasweeq) has a tender to sell spot full-range naphtha, plant condensate and gas-to-liquids (GTL) naphtha for delivery in the last 10 days of September, traders said.
The full-range naphtha and plant condensate will each be loaded in lots of 50,000 tonnes from Ras Laffan port, and the 25,000-30,000-tonne GTL naphtha parcel will be lifted from the same port.
Also, Tasweeq has a tender to sell one-year term supplies of plant condensate and full-range naphtha for October 2012 to September 2013. For each grade, 360,000-600,000 tonnes of material will be offered, out of which one cargo of 30,000 tonnes or 50,000 tonnes will be lifted by the buyer from the same port each month.
($1 = €0.81)
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