Asia’s naphtha slips on thin pre-holiday trading, overall softer crude

24 December 2013 02:11  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s naphtha prices softened in pre-holiday trading on Tuesday morning amid thin trading, in tandem with the energy complex, traders said.

The naphtha prices crossed the $1,000/tonne (€730/tonne) mark at the close of trade on Monday before shedding $3.50-4.50/tonne on Tuesday morning to $997.50-1000.50/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Asia, ICIS data showed.

“Naphtha is following crude prices,” one trader said.

NYMEX WTI February crude futures closed on Monday at $98.91/bbl, down by 41 cents while February Brent crude futures dropped by 21 cents to $111.56/bbl.

Profit-taking ahead of the holidays led to softer crude values, with the sell-off overshadowing upbeat economic data showing a jump in US consumer spending and a rise in personal income.

However, geopolitical concerns regarding oil supplies in Libya and South Sudan and strikes at French refineries limited the sell-off.

Fundamentally, the Asian naphtha scene was dominated by tightening arbitrage supply, stable exports from India and firm regional demand in the petrochemical sector.

($1 = €0.73)

By: Felicia Loo

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