Open spec naphtha for H2-July have collapsed by over US30 to US$645/ton levels. Feeble petrochemical margins and abundant supplies have tanked naphtha cracks by over a dollar to US$110/ton - to a near two-week lows in Asia. Lower premiums were realized by Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum for their June-July loading cargoes, as buyers prefer to wait in the sidelines amid deteriorating crude oil prices as they await upshot of Kuwaiti naphtha term talks and petrochemical demand in China.
Officials from Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) are in Singapore to negotiate term naphtha sales with their customers. But high levels of polymer inventories in China have muted the outlook for downstream markets, causing prices to fall in the past few weeks despite a revival in oil prices. As petrochemical margins drop, cracker operators may be coerced to reduce operating rates.