Naphtha prices in Asia ended the week at a two-session low, but physical time spreads flipped into a slight premium for the first time in two weeks, as sellers eye January demand, as per Reuters. Gasoline cracks also returned to the positive zone, snapping a discount spell that lasted 10 straight sessions, tracking a stronger European market following lower refinery runs.
Spot demand for naphtha was muted as most petrochemical makers have wrapped their December purchases but sellers are now eyeing North Asian demand for January cargoes.
The supply scenario looks stagnant, however, the stronger mood is sentiment driven, usually when buyers are preparing to start purchasing cargoes for a new month.
The price for open spec naphtha front-month H1 January eased to US$866.50/ton, Cracks for H1-January slipped by over a dollar to US$58.9/ton.