Naphtha margin in Asia eased 3.1% to a low of US$129.78/ton on Thursday, weighed down by expectations of more European cargoes arriving next month as traders were drawn by strong Eastern premiums. Anticipation of increased supply has also offset earlier concerns over the loss of production in the Middle East and strong demand from Taiwan and South Korea. Almost 150,000 tons of naphtha will be lost following the 20 day shutdown of the PetroRabigh refinery which started on Saturday due to a power cut. Asia's top naphtha buyer, Formosa Petrochemical Corp, is seeking cargoes for H1-February delivery- an estimated 100,000-150,000 tons.
About 650,000 tons of Western naphtha is expected to land in Asia in January and February numbers are likely to be higher. Current price in Asia is at about US$970/ton – about US$27 higher than the price in Northwest Europe.