Naphtha cracks in Asia rose to a one-week high, and backwardation widened on expectations of tighter supplies in January, as per Reuters. A surge in European naphtha prices and rising freight rates may reduce arbitrage flow to Asia in January. Around 100,000 tons of European naphtha is estimated to have been booked to arrive in Asia in January, down from about 500,000 tons next month.
Demand from South Korea is likely to stay healthy, adding that cracker operators have no plans to cut runs yet. South Korean buyers are expected to wait until next week to
buy first-half January cargoes. LG Chem and Honam, which bought a total of seven cargoes on Tuesday, may need to buy more.
Open spec naphtha for H1-January rose to US$805.50/ton, while cracks rose by over fifteen dollars to US$161.95/ton.