Asian naphtha prices peak to 32 month high, cracks rise on tight supplies

Start of the week saw Asian naphtha prices peak to a 32 month high while cracks have risen to a three-month peak with tight supplies supporting the bull run, as per Reuters. Demand has been steady to lower, amid tight supplies. Supplies have been tight on cracker shutdown due to outages in Japan and reduction in run rates by Formosa on weaker petrochemical margins. Mitsubishi Chemical has not restarted its two crackers in Kashima following the earthquake on March 11. Plans are underway to restart the 453,000 tpa unit around May 20 and a 375,000 tpa cracker around June 27. The region continues to face a dearth of exports from Europe due to strong Western demand. Kuwait Petroleum Corp will be exporting about 150,000 tons of spot naphtha, its first after a month's absence in April due to maintenance, the cargoes will be lifted in late May. The price for front-month H1-June edged up to US$1086.50/ton its highest since July 31, 2008 at US$1087.50/ton. Naphtha cracks have risen by over three dollars to US$153.65/ton premium.
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