Naphtha firms in Europe

12-Sep-12
European naphtha margins firmed on Monday, buoyed by on-going refinery outages and maintenance season while gasoline came off recent multi-year highs after meeting technical resistance, as per Reuters. "It's just a technical movement, no reasons yet to see any back movement," said one trader, "And there is not much product available by end September." Upcoming autumn refinery turnarounds will remove a significant portion of European capacity at a time when the products market is still reeling from the effects of the outages at Chevron's 245,000 bpd Richmond refinery in California and the 645,000 bpd Amuay refinery in Venezuela. Both refineries had major fires in August. Amuay is due to resume operations starting from this week while Richmond could take up to six months to restart. The closure of the UK's Coryton refinery this summer was also still being felt. Tight propane supplies has led to an earlier than usual reversal of the propane-naphtha spread, which has lent furthersupport to naphtha margins as petrochemical producers now favour it as their primary feedstock.
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