Naphtha demand in Europe continues to be weak on persistent high prices

21-Apr-11
Persistently high naphtha prices in Europe are continuing to push down demand, as per ICIS. In line with rising crude oil, naphtha peaked a 33 month high on 8 April, assessed at US$1054-1062/ton CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE. While prices have fluctuated slightly since then, they have remained around the high levels last seen in July 2008 at US$1050–1060/ton. Buyers are unwilling to buy at these levels, as along with high prices, outlook continues to be volatile. Additionally, a large backwardation of around US$28-29/ton is not helping demand. Globally, Europe is reported to have the highest prices- without any arbitrage anywhere, amid a stand-off between buyers and sellers. Interest from Brazil continues, however, demand from the gasoline sector is less despite the forthcoming US driving season.
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