Europe naphtha dips down below $900/t before rebounding on crude

25 September 2013 15:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--European naphtha prices have rebounded on the back of strengthening crude oil values, after briefly falling below the $900/tonne mark on Tuesday evening, industry sources said on Wednesday.

Naphtha prices were assessed at $907-909/tonne CIF (cost, insurance & freight) NWE (northwest Europe) on Wednesday, up $13-15/tonne from three cargo deals at $894/tonne on Tuesday evening.

The gain is attributed to upstream ICE Brent crude oil price hikes, as the naphtha crack spread is still pegged at the weak levels seen on Tuesday evening.

The October naphtha crack spread fell from minus $6.55/bbl on Monday to minus $7.20/bbl on Tuesday evening on weakening sentiment, and despite fairly stable crude prices from the previous day. The crack was at minus $7.60/bbl on Wednesday.

A naphtha trader said: "The crack is minus $7.60/bbl. We lost a dollar from yesterday, and two from last week as there is slow demand [in the naphtha market], [any] improvement is marginal. It is slow gasoline [demand], propane is still cheap, there is a bit of excess naphtha in the front."

However, the trader remarked domestic petrochemical demand is picking up, but attributed this to the beginning of quarterly restocking at some petrochemical companies.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Cuckoo James
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