Asia naphtha falls to $949/tonne, crack spreads weaken

05 March 2013 09:52  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s open-spec naphtha prices fell to the weakest levels since mid-January, on concerns over dwindling petrochemical demand, traders said on Tuesday.

The second-half April contract settled down at $948.00-950.00/tonne (€729.96-731.50/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) at the close of trade on Tuesday, shrugging off gains in global crude futures, ICIS data showed.

The first-half May contract changed hands between buyer Shell and seller Mabanaft at $937.00/tonne CFR Japan, traders said.

Prices were the lowest since 17 January, when naphtha closed at $941.00-943.00/tonne CFR Japan, according to ICIS data.

“MEK [methyl ethyl ketone] collapsed last week,” said one trader, referring to the downstream petrochemical product.

The naphtha crack spread weakened to $111.06/tonne against Brent crude futures, compared with $134.08/tonne on Monday, ICIS data indicated.

Meanwhile, the intermonth spread between the second-half April and second-half May contracts narrowed $4.00/tonne from Monday to $23.00/tonne in backwardation on Tuesday – the weakest since 30 January when the spread was at a backwardation of $22.00/tonne, the data showed.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Felicia Loo

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