UpdateAsia’s naphtha prices rises above $970/tonne on Mideast worries

29 August 2013 11:11  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Open-spec first-half October naphtha prices in Asia closed at more than $970/tonne (€728/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) on Thursday, amid concerns over escalating tensions in the Middle East which could threaten oil supplies.

Prices rose to $970.75-972.75/tonne CFR Japan, the highest since 1 March this year, according to ICIS data.

On Wednesday, prices settled at $967.50-969.50/tonne CFR Japan.

The surge in prices on Thursday was also triggered by physical naphtha trades in the open market, traders said.

The first-half November contract changed hands at $969.00/tonne CFR Japan from oil major Shell to trading firm Vitol.

Trading firm Glencore bought the second-half October contract from Vitol at $971.00/tonne CFR Japan as well as a first-half November contract from oil major BP.

However, the Asian naphtha market has been hogged by ample cargo availability from Indian refinery exporters as well as hefty deep-sea cargoes from the West, traders said.

A depreciating Indian rupee prompted refiners to increase their exports, with the country’s September shipments rising to 750,000-800,000 tonnes from 750,000 tonnes in August.

As a result, the first-half October/first-half November naphtha spread weakened to 75 cents/tonne in backwardation at the close of trade on Thursday, ICIS data showed.

($1 = €0.75)

By: Felicia Loo

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