Europe naphtha weekly trading activity spikes as Asia exports rise

01 November 2013 20:46  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Naphtha trading activity in the open market platform has risen from the previous week despite an increase in prices caused by high upstream ICE Brent crude oil values and a strong crack spread, industry sources said on Friday.

Buyers purchased a total of 11 cargoes this week compared with eight last week. Trading firm Glencore kept up its high level of activity in the window and continued to buy up cargoes for most of the week. The firm came back into the market on Friday as a seller, concluding two deals with oil majors Shell and BP.

The cargoes sold this week are due to load mid to late November, compared with most of the cargoes sold last week that were due to load around early to mid November.

Outside of the window, traders booked several cargoes to Asia as a result of the open arbitrage window to the region.

Meanwhile, the naphtha crack spread - the differential between ICE Brent crude oil and naphtha prices - strengthened to minus $6.70/bbl on Wednesday from minus $7.60/bbl on Tuesday as a result of the strong sentiment.

The crack continued to gain strength throughout the week, hitting a six-week high on Thursday because of a spike in exports to Asia, and further on to a record high this year of minus $4.55/bbl on Friday.

Naphtha prices stayed well above $900/tonne (€666/tonne) CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE (northwest Europe) this week, spurred by the higher crack spread and strong ICE Brent crude oil values.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Cuckoo James
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