Naphtha margins in Asia rose for a second week on optimism that petrochemical demand in China will remain strong, while gasoline declined for the first time in eight weeks, as per Bloomberg. The premium of naphtha (for delivery to Japan) to Brent crude (crack spread) rose to US$166.8/ton from US$161/ton at the end of Asian trading on Dec. 10. Open- specification naphtha for delivery to Japan gained over 11 dollars to rise to US$860/ton this week.
Benchmark 92-RON gasoline fell 0.2% to US$99.75 a barrel, the first decline in 8 weeks. Asia gasoline’s premium to naphtha (reforming margin) dropped to US$6 a barrel from US$7.35 on Dec. 10. A narrower gap signals that naphtha is more valuable to refiners relative to gasoline.