09 April 2013 17:54 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--European naphtha prices have stayed stable in the mid $840s/tonne (€647s/tonne) CIF (cost, insurance, freight) NWE (northwest Europe) for four consecutive trading days, despite a drop in Brent crude futures, leading to a rise in the region's naphtha refining margins, traders said on Tuesday.
Brent futures for June fell almost $1.00/bbl from $105.74/bbl at 16:30 GMT on Thursday 4 April to $104.83/bbl on Tuesday 9 April.
However, naphtha traded at relatively stable levels, within a range of $843-845/tonne CIF NWE, during the four consecutive sessions in the open market trading window.
May naphtha refining margins, or crack spread, rose from -$11.55/bbl on 4 April to -$10.30/bbl on 9 April, supported by the crude price drop and stable naphtha prices.
A trader said on Tuesday: "[Naphtha] traded at $845/tonne in the window and the May crack is worth -$10.30/bbl right now."
Last week, European May naphtha refining margins slipped below -$12/bbl because of a drop in naphtha prices, and despite a steep fall in Brent crude.
The main application of naphtha is in the petrochemical production of olefins. Naphtha is also used as a feedstock for gasoline blending.
($1 = €0.77)
Follow Cuckoo James on Twitter
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections