Naphtha cracks in Asia drop to 34 month lows

As a reflection of the persistently weak market, naphtha prices in Asia fell to 1-1/2 week lows, while cracks hovered at a 34 month low with physical time spreads in discount, as per Reuters. Honam Petrochemical purchased around 50,000 tons of open-spec naphtha for H2-December arrival at Daesan at a discount of about US$3/ton to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, making this the lowest price paid in South Korea in about four months. Ample supplies of open-spec grade and a fragile economy ahead have set back buyers who resisted high term offers. However, ADNOC managed to conclude a deal for splitter grade for 2012 lifting with some buyers at US$17/ton above its own price formula on a free-on-board (FOB) after a two dollar reduction from an initial offer. S-Oil is in the midst of a term talk to sell H1-2012 naphtha, seeking parity levels to Japan quotes on a FOB basis against buyers' ideas at around minus US$3.50/ton. About 75,000 tons of heavy full-range naphtha, western naphtha, possibly of Russian origin, has been fixed to arrive in South Korea in H2-December after nearly a month's interval. Arbitrage flows for open-spec naphtha has been ruled totally unworkable due to ample supplies in Asia. Open spec naphtha for front-month H2 December fell to US$874/ton, its lowest since Nov. 3. Naphtha cracks for H2-December slipped to US$25.95/ton premium.
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