Naphtha crack in Asia was near a 2-1/2 week low of US$80.8/ton on Thursday as heavy gasoline supplies and possible higher volumes of naphtha arriving in the East next month weighed, as per Reuters. Naphtha, depending on its grades, can be used as a blendstock for gasoline as well as be used to produce petrochemicals. As a result, poor gasoline demand would also limit naphtha buying interest.
After turning positive from March 31 to April 5, spot prices in South Korea returned to discount levels on April 6. Hanwha Total bought a cargo in the previous session for H2-May delivery to Daesan at a discount but no other details on the price figure or origin of the cargo were available, traders said.
"There's a bit of a pause (in the naphtha market) after a good run-up," said Singapore-based trader. "People are working out how much naphtha is coming to Asia from the West," he said, adding that there could be some 1.3 mln tons of naphtha booked for Asia arrival next month from the West. India's ONGC had on Tuesday sold 35,000 tons of naphtha for April 25-26 loading from Mumbai to Socar at a premium of US$11-12/ton to Middle East quotes on a free-on-board (FOB) basis.