The Asian naphtha price eased to a two-session low of US$1011/ton on Tuesday, while margin rose to a six-session high of US$159.30/ton as firm demand helped sustain the bull run, as per Reuters. High operating rates at petrochemical units have swiftly reversed concerns that liquefied petroleum gas would be used to replace a small portion of naphtha feedstock. Even a massive incoming amount of Western naphtha to Asia failed to shake sellers' confidence.
Asia is expected to receive about 1.1 mln tons or more of naphtha from Europe and the Mediterranean in March, the highest volumes seen in many years as the region pulls in Western cargoes to combat a supply crunch. A similar level of shipments could be seen in April. Spot premiums in Taiwan remained largely stable as reflected in a purchase by Formosa. The top naphtha buyer in Asia bought 50,000 to 90,000 tons of naphtha for H1-April arrival at a premium of about US$23-25/ton to Japan quotes on a cost-and-freight (C&F) basis. It had previously paid about US$24/ton premium for about 100,000 tons of naphtha for H2-March arrival.