13 June 2013 13:33 [Source: ICIS news]
Naphtha CIF (cost, insurance & freight) NWE (northwest Europe) prices during the first three days of this week were 14-16% - or $106-118/tonne - higher than those around the same period last year.
This week's three-day price range of $840-857/tonne compares with $722-751/tonne over the same period last year.
Higher crude oil values are seen to be the chief difference between the two years, with fundamentals in the naphtha market largely similar during June 2012 and 2013.
ICE Brent crude oil futures this year were higher for the three-day period compared with the same time last year.
On 12 June, July ICE Brent crude oil futures settled at $103.49/bbl, just over $6.00/bbl higher than $97.14/bbl on 12 June 2012.
Naphtha values in June 2012 were in the $700s/tonne, before prices rose to the $900s/tonne for most part of the second half of the year.
This year, June prices so far have remained firm in the $800s/tonne because of heavy trading activity in the first week and the firm ICE Brent crude oil futures.
The main application of naphtha is in the petrochemical production of olefins. Naphtha is also used as a feedstock for gasoline blending.
($1 = €0.75)
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