Asia's naphtha price is currently at a three-session low and cracks at their lowest in around a week on muted demand from South Korea. However, the lackluster demand is not expected to last, as per Reuters, as most crackers are operating at high rates. The market awaits buying from South Korean petrochemical makers who have yet to come forward to buy February cargoes.
Shutdown at Keiyo Ethylene’s 760,000 tpa cracker is expected to have minimal impact on demand. Some traders expect cracks to recover to the US$170.00s/ton level, as Unipec is likely to continue buying to plug a steep domestic shortfall.