Naphtha price in Asia have recovered to a two-session high on Thursday, but cracks extended losses to reach a three-session low as sentiment weakened following slower demand, as per Reuters. End users mostly adopted a wait-and-watch stance and held back purchases for now. Front-month H2-January recovered by US$3.75 to US$853/MT its highest since Dec. 7. Naphtha cracks slipped 61 cents to US$168.18/ton premium, lagging behind this year's peak in mid-January at US$178.03/ton.
The market rush surrounding Unipec's rare spot purchases in late November to plug a domestic supply shortfall has tapered off, and it was not immediately clear if this trading arm for China's top refiner Sinopec will emerge soon to buy first-quarter cargoes. Since there has been a lull in activity in China, end-users are waiting for the market to cool down.