Naphtha cracks rise in Asia, premiums rise in the Middle East

Naphtha prices in Asia dipped to a week low at the end of last week, but cracks stayed firm at their highest level in 3-1/2 month on tighter supplies amid healthy demand, as per Reuters. Spot premiums for cargoes lifting September from United Emirates and Kuwait spiked by 55-60% as compared with premiums for cargoes for August lifting. However, some market players continue to be cautious given the gloomy economic outlook, which can dampen consumer demand ahead. Demand is still relatively slow, indicating an uncertainty in global demand. Increased sell off in global stocks gathered pace on Friday, reflecting mounting concerns the U.S. economy is heading into another recession and a risk of a banking crisis in Europe. Open spec naphtha for H1-October fell by over US$28 to US$925/ton, while cracks inched up by over two dollars to US$131.5/ton premium.
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