Asia’s naphtha prices fall to $947/tonne CFR Japan

03 October 2012 11:12  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s open-spec naphtha prices fell on Wednesday on the back of crude losses and renewed concerns over the health of petrochemical demand, as the global economic slump persists, traders said.

Naphtha prices for the second half of November delivery closed at $946-948/tonne (€728-730/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) Japan on Wednesday, the weakest since 21 September when naphtha prices were assessed at $943-944/tonne CFR Japan, according to ICIS data.

The naphtha crack spread versus November Brent crude futures plunged to $116.83/tonne, the lowest since 21 September, ICIS data showed.

There were three physical trades for delivery in the first half of December, with trading firm Glencore selling two cargoes to Japanese trading houses ITOCHU and Marubeni at $941/tonne CFR Japan and $940/tonne CFR Japan respectively, traders said.

German trading firm Mabanaft sold a cargo to Anglo-Dutch major Shell at $940/tonne CFR Japan, they added.

Japan’s imports of naphtha for the petrochemical sector fell by 5.6% month on month to 1.17m tonnes in August, according to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The country imported $987.2m of naphtha in value. For ethylene production in August, there was an 8.3% decrease from the previous month, according to METI.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said on Wednesday that it has cut the 2012 and 2013 growth forecasts for developing Asia. The ADB forecast the region’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth at 6.1% in 2012 and 6.7% in 2013, down from 7.2% in 2011.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Felicia Loo

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