Asia’s naphtha prices fall sharply on overall crude losses

02 May 2013 03:57  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s naphtha prices fell sharply on Thursday morning, triggered by sharp overnight losses in global oil futures, traders said.

The open-spec naphtha prices for the first half of June delivery fell by $29.50/tonne (€22.40/tonne) from the levels at the close of trade on 30 April to $833.50-836.50/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Japan in the morning of 2 May, according to ICIS data.

The Singapore oil markets were closed for a public holiday on 1 May.

Naphtha prices are at their lowest levels since 23 April 2013 when prices closed at $833-835/tonne CFR Japan, ICIS data showed.

Meanwhile, the prospects of weakening plastics demand continue to weigh on the Asian naphtha market amid downbeat economic data from China and the US.

China’s purchasing managers’ index (PMI) fell to 50.6 in April from a 11-month high of 50.9 in March, official data from China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing (CFLP) showed on 1 May.

A PMI reading at above 50 indicates expansion, whereas a reading below 50 means contraction. China’s PMI is based on a survey of 820 manufacturers in the country.

In the US, the country’s manufacturing industries continued to expand in April, but the pace of growth has slowed for a second consecutive month and the broad industry is again getting close to contraction, according to the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

In its monthly purchasing managers index, the ISM said that the key measure of manufacturing declined to 50.7 in April from the March reading of 51.3.

March had seen a decline from February’s 54.2 level, which was the highest PMI mark since January 2011. The figure in April at 50.7 is also the lowest point this year.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Felicia Loo

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