Naphtha cracks in Asia plunge to their lowest level in 15 months

Naphtha cracks in Asia ended the week at their lowest level in 15 months, as weak petrochemical margins and demand dampened sentiment, as per Reuters. Petrochemical demand in Asia currently seems to be in a seasonal trough. However, with 2012 term supplies discussed at higher differentials than a year ago, the market still looks bullish in the longer run. Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) is likely to conclude term sales of full-range naphtha lifting in December 2011 to November 2012 at sharply higher premiums from last year despite concerns that the global economy could slow.Full-range naphtha for December 2011-November 2012 lifting was offered at US$19.50/ton above Middle East quotes, a reduction of $4.00 a tonne from its first offers. KPC sold naphtha for December 2010-November 2011 at US$12/ton above Middle East quotes, for August 2011 to July 2012 at a premium of US$18.50/ton. YNCC is in talks with sellers for 2012 naphtha supply which could be concluded at a stronger differential than this year.
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