Asia naphtha prices hit three-session high on tight supply

11 September 2012 11:20  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s open-spec naphtha prices rose on Tuesday to the highest level seen in the past three successive trading sessions, underpinned by tight supply, traders said.

The second-half October naphtha contract gained $1.50/tonne (€1.17/tonne) from Monday to $1,012-1,014/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Japan at the close of Tuesday, according to ICIS data.

There were no physical trades, traders said.

Meanwhile, the naphtha crack spread versus October Brent crude futures widened by 7.5% from a week earlier to $150.58/tonne on Tuesday, ICIS data showed.

The naphtha market has been facing tight supply because of low Indian exports and limited arbitrage barrels from Europe, traders said.

However, on the other hand, naphtha demand is strong in Asia, as South Korean producers are operating their crackers at full tilt and they have a preference for naphtha feedstock instead of the more costly propane, they added.

Spot premiums concluded in recent naphtha trades have been on an uptrend, rising to near record-high prices, traders said.

($1 = €0.78)


By: Felicia Loo



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