Naphtha prices in Asia have fallen as demand has weakened in the region with the delay in start up of Japan’s Mitsui Chemicals 553,000 tpa cracker in Chiba. A leak in the unit has shut the cracker since last Sunday, scheduled to be restarted by the weekend. A sa result, the Japanese major has decided to roll over 25,000-50,000 tons of naphtha to H2 April from H1-April.
Simultaneously, South Korea's KPIC will defer one cargo to April from this month due to sufficient stocks, while Formosa will be roll over 75,000 tons to May from April. Switching to liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) at some of Asia's crackers to substitute a small portion of naphtha used for cracking could also add to slightly lower demand ahead.