Naphtha prices in Asia dip, cracks end at their lowest in about ten days

14-Feb-11
In Asia, naphtha price dipped to a two-session low and cracks ended the previous week at their lowest in about 1-1/2 weeks, as spot demand failed to lift sentiment weighed down by impending maintenance at petrochemical units, as per Reuters. Asia's top naphtha buyer Formosa Petrochemical Corp. bought about 100,000 tons of naphtha for H2-March to early April arrival at premiums of US$2-2.50/ton to Japan spot quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis. In another deal, Titan bought 50,000 tons for late March arrival at premiums below US$6/ton. Spot purchases for the week from Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia totaled to 250,000-275,000 tons for March arrival. Planned cracker maintenance in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Southeast Asia scheduled from March to June will obliterate about 1.8 mln tons of naphtha demand. Thursday saw Asia's naphtha price rise to 1-1/2 week high and cracks rose marginally to a two-session high to reflect Japanese demand,however, sentiment stayed relatively weak due to upcoming cracker maintenance. Japan's Idemitsu Kosan bought 25,000 tons of naphtha for H2-March arrival at premiums of over US$6/ton to Japan spot quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis. South Korea's Honam, Japan’s Maruzen and Mitsui Chemicals bought a total of 100,000-125,000 tons for the same arrival period at premiums of US$5-$8.50/ton on a C&F basis.
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