Naphtha price and margins in Asia have peaked to around three-month high. At the end of last week, naphtha was at U$$944/ton and naphtha margins were at US$99.65/ton as the marker found support from expectations of better petrochemical demand, as per Reuters.
Data from the second-largest oil consumer - China, showed July exports rose just 1% from a year ago, but this led to talks that the weakness in Chinese economic date could lead to further rate cuts by the central bank. Speculations abound that the Chinese authorities could take some measures to spur demand that could also lead to stronger petrochemicals buying interest. Simultaneously, more Western naphtha exports are coming to Asia.
MRPL sold 35,000 tons of naphtha to PetroDiamond for Sept. 17-19 loading from New Mangalore at premiums of about US$33.5/ton to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis. Essar Oil sold around 25,000-30,000 tons of naphtha for Aug. 23-25 loading from
Vadinar at low US$20s/ton premium to Vitol to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis. Saudi Arabia's Samref sold 230,000 barrels of naphtha for Sept. 12-14 loading from Yanbu at around US$21-23/ton to Middle East quotes on a FOB basis.