Naphtha price, crack at multi-week highs

Asian naphtha price is at a 3-1/2 week high of US$969/ton, while margin hovered around a seven-week high of US$150.30/ton, on firm demand from Asian ethylene plants, which plan little maintenance, as per Reuters. South Korea's Honam Petrochemical has bought 50,000 tons of naphtha for H1-February delivery, while rival LG Chem has bought 25,000 tons for the same delivery period. Premiums were at levels of US$16-16.50/ton to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis, stable from what the two companies had paid on Dec. 21 for a total of 175,000 tons also for H1-February delivery. Demand for second-half February cargoes from South Korea is unlikely to emerge in the next two days. The naphtha market is expected to keep going strong given the limited maintenance at ethylene plants in Asia next year. In Taiwan, CPC has an outstanding tender to buy 105,000 tons of naphtha for February arrival at Kaohsiung. The tender is expected to be awarded on Thursday.
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