Naphtha prices for H2-April end the week in Asia at around 10-month highs

Naphtha prices in Asia for front-month H2-April returned to levels around 10-month highs on Friday at US$1105.50/ton, but cracks and intermonth premiums weakened marginally due to demand that was subdued as compared with last week, as per Reuters. Naphtha cracks were at a four-session low of US$166.1/ton while premiums for H2-April and H2-May were at US$22/ton. LG Chem is seeking cargoes, at a time when there is a dearth of offers in the marker. LG has bought some volumes for H2-April at premium of US$19-20/ton to Japan spot quotes on a cost-and-freight basis, using a 45-day price formula for open-spec grade. This week's purchases by South Korea and Malaysia via tenders, at an estimated 105,000 tons were less than half of what South Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Malaysia bought last week at 230,000 tons. However, as per market players, demand for H2-April is likely to stay strong. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices are still high and overall cracker runs in Japan have seen marginal increase.
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