Asia’s naphtha crack spread falls to near 8-month low

01 April 2013 11:06  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s naphtha crack spread has tumbled to the lowest in nearly eight months, in response to a decline in global crude oil futures as well as weakening petrochemical demand, traders said on Monday.

The naphtha crack spread against May Brent crude oil slumped to $94.35/tonne (€73.60/tonne) from $118.73/tonne on 28 March, according to ICIS data. Singapore oil markets were closed on 29 March for a public holiday.

The crack spread has hit the weakest levels since 16 August 2012 when the values stood at $87.33/tonne, ICIS data showed.

Open-spec second-half May naphtha contract fell to $917-919/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Japan on Monday from $942.50-944.50/tonne CFR Japan on Thursday, the data indicated. Naphtha prices were at their lowest levels since 20 September 2012, it stated.

There were three deals done during the cash session, according to traders. The first-half June contract was done at $906.50/tonne while the second-half May contract traded at $918.00/tonne. The second-half May/second-half June spread traded at a $19/tonne backwardation.

Meanwhile, concerns over weakening plastics demand deepened after China’s  purchasing managers’ index (PMI) was recorded at 50.9 for March this year, which is lower than the market forecast of 52.0.

China’s linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) futures September delivery dropped by 1.82% to yuan (CNY) 10,240/tonne ($1,646/tonne) on Monday on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), following news on China's PMI. 

($1 = €0.78, $1 = CNY6.22)


By: Felicia Loo



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