Asia's naphtha price rises, cracks slip

25-May-11
Tracking Brent crude, naphtha price in Asia rose to three-session high on Tuesday, but cracks slipped and intermonth spread levels were kept low, signaling a weaker outlook as per Reuters. Asian buyers and sellers ADNOC and Saudi Aramco are in the midst of term deals. Saudi Aramco is in London with Asian buyers to discuss prices for July to December lifting, while ADNOC is conducting term sales for July 2011 to June 2012 lifting through faxes. Current intentions by buyers to pay no more than US$15/ton have led to wide gaps between the sellers and buyers. ADNOC has offered its splitter, low-sulphur and pentane-plus grades at premiums of US$22, US$23 and US$26 a ton to its own price formula on a free-on-board (FOB) basis respectively. Saudi Aramco has not made firm offers but buyers' ideas are below its expectations. The firm is expected to make its offers by late Tuesday/Wednesday and is currently into the second-day of its meeting. Its customers include Formosa, Glencore, Marubeni, JPMorgan, and CPC. Up to 1.02 mln tons of naphtha for July-December loading is being offered from Egypt, from Suez and Alexandria in a tender which closes on June 1. Gasoline cracks remained at their highest in about a week despite weaker outlook in USA. Front-month H1-July naphtha rose by ten dollars to US$959/ton, its highest since May 19 at US$964/ton Cracks slipped by 88 cents to US$126.50/ton premium.
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