Europe naphtha prices steady after $100/tonne fall since mid-March

18 April 2013 15:38  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON( ICIS)--European naphtha prices are holding steady this week after registering a fall of more than $100/tonne (€77/tonne) since mid-March, and dropping below $800/tonne last Friday, industry sources said on Thursday.

Naphtha CIF (cost, insurance & freight) NWE (northwest Europe) prices dropped by 13% – or $113/tonne – from 18 March to 16 April, ICIS data shows.

Prices are now comparatively stable, and mostly moving in the $780s/tonne, sources said.

"After the correction, prices are now stable," a trader said.

Nevertheless, industry sources maintain naphtha prices could fall in the coming days.

Petrochemical demand is decreasing due to the heavy cracker turnaround schedule in Europe, a second trader said.

A naphtha buyer said: "Demand is slow, getting lower by the day. [Liquefied petroleum gas] is going to be more and more in demand [as a petrochemical feedstock], as its heating demand will fall in summer."

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
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