Naphtha demand in Europe continues to be weak on persistent high prices

Persistently high naphtha prices in Europe are continuing to push down demand, as per ICIS. In line with rising crude oil, naphtha peaked a 33 month high on 8 April, assessed at US$1054-1062/ton CIF (cost, insurance and freight) NWE. While prices have fluctuated slightly since then, they have remained around the high levels last seen in July 2008 at US$1050–1060/ton. Buyers are unwilling to buy at these levels, as along with high prices, outlook continues to be volatile. Additionally, a large backwardation of around US$28-29/ton is not helping demand. Globally, Europe is reported to have the highest prices- without any arbitrage anywhere, amid a stand-off between buyers and sellers. Interest from Brazil continues, however, demand from the gasoline sector is less despite the forthcoming US driving season.
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