NWE outright naphtha plunges to over one-year low amid falling crude

The CIF Northwest European naphtha price fell by over five dollars from Tuesday's close to be assessed by Platts at US$830/mt, the lowest since January 26, 2011, when it was assessed at US$829.75/mt. The outright price has been under pressure recently from falling ICE Brent crude prices. Brent fell by over US$2.63/barrel on the day to US$106.19/b after news of a potential deal between Iran and the UN nuclear agency eased supply disruption fears. Outright prices are also falling as the physical naphtha crack, or the oil product's differential to crude, is currently trading at lows not seen since the fourth quarter of 2011. On Wednesday's close, the physical crack was assessed at a near six-month low of minus US$12.93/barrel, Platts data show. The physical crack is under downward pressure from bearish fundamentals, with one trader pointing to excess global naphtha supply. Curbacks in run rates are being seen in the East amid dwindling demand and mounting eurozone concerns that impact naphtha cracks.
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