Europe naphtha crack rises on flat prices, crude drops

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)

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By: Cuckoo James
+44 (0) 208 652 3214



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