Spot naphtha premiums in NWE supported by buoyant blending demand

19-Jul-11
Spot naphtha premiums in Northwest Europe firmed by over US$5/mt last week, supported by a dearth of prompt cargoes stemming from recent demand into the gasoline blending pool, as per Platts. The premium for spot naphtha cargoes CIF NWE over front-month swaps closed last Friday at US$7.75/mt, up from US$2.25/mt at the start of the week. The prompt backwardation between July and August swaps contracts also widened out to US$3.50/mt on Friday from US$1/mt earlier in the week. Global gasoline markets was supporting naphtha premiums, despite propane's wide discount to naphtha (at over US$120/mt at the end of last week) that indicates that petrochemical producers are favoring propane as a feedstock. Demand from West Africa has pulled naphtha into the gasoline blending pool. This pull from Nigeria, estimated at up to 70,000 mt in recent days, has lifted gasoline values in Europe.
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