Naphtha prices and margins in Asia rise on demand from Europe

Naphtha price and margins in Asia were at almost a ten day high of US$868 and US$80.35/ton respectively on Wednesday, supported by firm European demand from its petrochemical and gasoline sectors, as per Reuters. European fundamentals have become stronger after a sizeable quantity was dispatched to Asia. Europe was initially flush with naphtha, forcing the West to ship at least 400,000 tons of the light fuel to Asia. The cargoes are expected to arrive this month. The strong gasoline market in Europe is also supporting the market. Expectations of an even stronger market ahead has likely prompted South Korea's YNCC to come forward to seek naphtha for September 2012 to August 2013 delivery through a tender which will close on Aug. 3. Offers will stay valid until Aug. 7. Also, India's BPCL will shut one of three crude distillation units (CDU) at its 240,000 bpd Mumbai refinery for 10-14 days in September. It is unclear if the shutdown will affect its spot exports. On the average, BPCL has exported about three 35,000 ton cargoes a month for January-August lifting from its Mumbai refinery.
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