Asia naphtha firms on overall narrower east-west spread

20 January 2014 10:24  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia’s open-spec naphtha prices firmed up on Monday, supported by a narrower east-west spread compared with levels a fortnight ago, traders said.

The first-half March naphtha contract rose by $4.50/tonne from 17 January to $934.50-936.50/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Japan, ICIS data showed.

There were no cash trades.

However, the softening of the east-west spread to $19.50/tonne for February, versus levels at more than $20/tonne two weeks ago, helped to support the market, the traders said.

A stronger Europe market also led to an overall narrower east-west spread, they added.

Nonetheless, the arbitrage window to draw western naphtha barrels from the Mediterranean and the Baltics to Asia remained open, the traders said.

By: Felicia Loo

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