Asia naphtha crack spread softer on rising deep-sea inflows

15 November 2012 10:22  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s naphtha crack spread weakened on Thursday on the back of rising supply, traders said.

The second-half December crack spread narrowed to $135.33/tonne (€105.56/tonne) against Brent crude futures at the close of trade on Thursday from $137.13/tonne on Wednesday, according to ICIS data.

However, the open-spec second-half December contract closed higher at $960.00-962.00/tonne CFR (cost and freight) Japan, up by $12.00 from Wednesday, as prices tracked gains in global crude futures, the data showed.

There was a physical trade at $942.00/tonne CFR Japan for delivery in the second half of January, traders said.

Asia is expected to receive around 900,000 tonnes of deep-sea naphtha supply from Europe and the US in the coming weeks at a time of softer spot demand, they added.

End-users in northeast Asia have scaled back their spot buying because of high premiums when prompt supply was tight, traders said.

The incoming arbitrage flows no longer justify such high premiums, some traders said.

Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPCC) has bought by tender a lower volume of spot naphtha supply of around 120,000 tonnes at premiums of $13.00-14.00/tonne to Japan quotes CFR for delivery to Mailiao in the second half of December.

In its last tender, FPCC bought 150,000 tonnes of spot naphtha at premiums of $15.00-16.00/tonne to Japan quotes CFR for delivery to Mailiao in the first half of December

($1 = €0.78)

By: Felicia Loo

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