Naphtha prices in Asia rose to almost month highs, while cracks rose to a two-week high, held up by Northeast Asian demand and concerns over supply disruptions in France.
Formosa, Asia's top spot naphtha buyer, is in talks to buy April parcels after having skipped spot purchases for March arrivals. Japan's Mitsui Chemicals bought 25,000 tons of naphtha for H2 March arrival at a premium of US$8/ton to Japan spot quotes, C&F, from a Japanese trader. South Korea's LG Chem purchased a medium-range parcel for H1- April arrival at Yosu at a premium of around US8-8.50/ton to Japan spot quotes C&F from a Korean trader. However, LG Chem could not secure 50,000 tons for H1-April at Daesan, as anticipation of intensifying sentiments has held back sellers.
Sellers have adopted a wait-and-watch policy in view of the strong European market and healthy demand from South Korea and Taiwan.
The protest at Total had impacted naphtha more than it did on gasoline.