Naphtha prices in Asia rose to a two-and-a-half week high on Thursday, while cracks rebounded from a three-week low to reach their highest in three sessions, supported by expectations of stronger fundamentals, as per Reuters.
Saudi Aramco is reported to have halted spot offers after its term talks ended with deals done around US$12-17/ton to its own price formula on a free-on-board (FOB) basis for supplies lifting in first-half 2011. Supply from Saudi will tighten with expected reduction of 580,000 tons of naphtha in H1-2011 because of upcoming planned maintenance shutdowns at two of its refineries. In Japan, end-users were still seen buying cargoes for second-half January, while South Korean users are expected to start seeking February cargoes. Unipec, the trading arm for China's top refiner Sinopec, was estimated to have bought more than 100,000 tonnes of naphtha for November-December delivery.