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SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Asia is expected to receive 1.8m-2.1m tonnes of deep-sea naphtha supply from the western regions for delivery between January and the first half of February, traders said on Thursday.
“The gasoline market is very bad in Europe. There is no blending margin at all, so there is very limited naphtha used for gasoline blending,” said a trader, adding the cargoes have to be exported to Asia as a result.
The arbitrage supply typically hails from northwest Europe, the Mediterranean, Russia and the US, traders said.
Wintry weather has caused delays in shipments, they added.
Owing to the surplus, Asia’s open-spec naphtha prices for second-half February weakened to $964-967/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Japan from $1006.75-1008.75/tonne on CFR Japan 30 December, ICIS data showed.
The overall naphtha market in Asia is facing stable-to-firm demand, supported by strong ethylene prices. Regional crackers are running at maximum rates because of the continued uptrend of ethylene prices, traders said.
Ethylene spot prices in northeast Asia rose by $60-80/tonne to $1,500-1,540/tonne CFR NE Asia in the week ended 3 January, according to ICIS.
Meanwhile, the spot prices of the material in southeast Asia increased by $15-40/tonne to $1,415-1,490/tonne CFR SE Asia over the same period, ICIS data showed.