Shipments from Europe to triple as naphtha prices in Asia spike to two year highs

06-Dec-10
Shipments from Europe are set to almost triple, as naphtha prices in Asia have spiked to two year highs. Asian naphtha prices have risen on increased demand from China amid fuel shortages. Asia-bound naphtha cargo is likely to touch 290,000 tons this month from 110,000 tons in October, according to the median estimate of four European traders surveyed by Bloomberg. October saw industrial output rise 13% from a year ago, amid a move by the government to cut energy consumption that is forcing factories to use diesel to power generators, prompting refiners to make more of the fuel instead of naphtha. Demand for naphtha in Asia may exceed supply by almost 800,000 tons in December, up from about 700,000 tons in October. European propane's premium to naphtha widened to the most in almost 21 months because of the rising Asian demand. Propane, used in heating and petrochemicals, traded at a premium of $90 ton to naphtha today, according to Bloomberg data- the highest since Feb. 23, 2009. Naphtha exports from Europe peaked in May at about 500,000 tons, slumping in October as strikes in France disrupted production at 10 refineries.
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