Europe naphtha crack spread falls below -$9/bbl on Brent hike

14 June 2013 12:43  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The difference between northwest European naphtha prices and ICE Brent crude oil futures – which is known as the crack spread – slid below -$9.00/bbl late on Friday morning to its weakest level in three weeks, market sources said.

ICE Brent crude oil futures for August rose 1.37%, or approximately $1.40/bbl, from $103.88/bbl at 16:30 GMT on Thursday to $105.30/bbl at 11:50 GMT on Friday.

Meanwhile, naphtha traded up by a slightly lower margin, from $848-850/tonne CIF (cost, insurance & freight) NWE (northwest Europe) on Thursday to $858-861/tonne on Friday.

The July naphtha crack spread fell to -$9.30-9.10/bbl late on Friday morning as a result. The crack spread had been in the -$8.00s/bbl for the most part of the week.

A crack spread more negative than -$9.00/bbl was last seen prevalent in mid-May.

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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By: Cuckoo James
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