Naphtha retreats for fourth day – its longest decline since beginning of the year

17-Mar-11
Open-specification naphtha for delivery to Japan retreated for a fourth day to US$927/ton, its longest decline since Dec. 31, as per Bloomberg. Asia naphtha capped the longest losing streak in more than two months as petrochemical-plant outages in Japan cut demand. Fuel-oil and gasoil refining margins, however, rose. Crack spread fell to US$97.6/ton, while gasoline’s premium to naphtha fell to US$12.90 a barrel. A narrower reforming margin means the profit from turning naphtha into gasoline is decreasing. Naphtha consumption in Japan may shrink by as much as 100,000 bpd on an average this year.
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