Asia's naphtha prices recover from a week low to reach a two-session high

23-Aug-11
Asia's naphtha price recovered from a week low to reach a two-session high on Monday, but cracks eased about 1%, while intermonth spreads remained firm on tighter supplies, as per Reuters. Limited European naphtha inflows to Asia at a time when India is expected to reduce its exports next month have lent support to the market. September exports from India are expected to be capped around 850,000 tons, down from August's level of 1 million tons, and below the monthly average for the first eight months. Strong gasoline demand in Brazil and in Asia could have also boosted the market, as naphtha can be used to produce or blend with gasoline. However, the possible restart of one of three crude distillation units (CDUs) at Taiwan's Formosa's 540,000 bpd refinery could see production gradually being restored while two of its three crackers are offline, wiping out a chunk of demand. Resumption of exports is likely from Libya of light sweet crude, which gives a higher naphtha yield compared with processing heavy crude. Open spec naphtha for front-month H1-October rose to US$928.50/ton, while cracks fell marginally to US$130.1/ton premium.
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