Asia's naphtha price was around its lowest in two weeks on Tuesday, with cracks falling to a three-session low despite demand from Taiwan and resumption of operations at a cracker in Japan after the earthquake, as per Reuters.
Taiwan's Formosa bought an estimated 150,000 tons of naphtha for H1-May arrival at lower premiums of US$3.50-4.50/ton to Japan spot quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis compared to similar volumes bought for H2-April. JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp has restarted its 404,000 tpa cracker in Kawasaki, but crackers owned by Mitsubishi Chemical Corp at Kashima with a total capacity of 828,000 tpa are expected to stay shut for at least two months. This would lead to a naphtha demand loss of over 200,000 tons a month, which more than offset the supply lost from India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp (ONGC). Front-month H1-May naphtha prices fell by over 12 dollars to US$979.50/ton its lowest since March 17 at $944. Cracks fell by over 8 dollars to US$121.35/ton premium.