Naphtha cracks peak to 11 month highs in Asia

29-Feb-12
Persistent firmness in Asia's naphtha price on Tuesday, was accompanied by intermonth premiums of US$25/ton for H1-April and H1-May. This is the highest in about 26 months, and has been triggered by persistent tight supplies and cracks rising to an 11 month high, as per Reuters. South Korea's Honam bought volumes for H2 April arrival at premiums of US$18/ton to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, with prices pegged to a 45-day price formula. Premiums are on the rise due to limited offers in the market on healthy demand and refinery turnarounds. March naphtha exports from India are likely to hover around 5 month lows at the 700,000 tons, similar to February volumes, keeping supplies tight while demand remains firm. The reduced volumes can be attributed to a three-week maintenance this month at Reliance’s 290,000 bpd crude unit. It usually exports 180,000-200,000 tons a month, but has sold only 10,000 tons of March naphtha. The price for front-month H1-April open spec naphtha spiked by nine dollars to US$1099/ton, highest since April 29 2011. Cracks for H1-April, rose by US$14.40 to US$172/ton premium, highest since Jan. 5 2011.
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