Naphtha cracks in Asia continue to rise as demand improves

Naphtha cracks in Asia continued to improve for the third consecutive session on persistent robust demand from South Korea and Taiwan, as per Reuters. Discounts on crack spreads for January narrowed to US$6.36 a barrel to Brent crude, mainly due to a lower flat price and continued demand from North Asian buyers, including Formosa. Restart of Maruzen Petrochemical Co’s 480,000 tpa naphtha cracker in Chiba, is also partly supporting the naphtha market. With the dip in crude prices, buyers are also maximizing tolerance at the crackers. Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) sold 35,000 tons naphtha, for Jan. 13-14 lifting from Hazira to Totsa at a premium of US$30.50/ton to Middle East spot quotes, on free-on-board (FOB) basis. Asia's January swaps were US$14 higher than Northwest European prices. Price for front-month open spec naphtha for H1-February dipped to US$884.50/ton.
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