Naphtha price and margin near two-month low

Asian naphtha price and its margin extended losses on Tuesday, each nearing a two-month low of US$949/ton and US$117.40/ton respectively, fuelling market talk that at least one key North Asian buyer was delaying cargoes on higher stocks, as per Reuters. However, some traders brushed off the unsupported speculation, citing volatile crude and gasoline prices as reasons behind the weak naphtha margin, which have lost 30% of its value in about a week. "People are reluctant to bid up the Asian naphtha price in view of the unstable crude. So this affects the naphtha crack and kept it low," said a Singapore-based trader. Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) offered a total of 72,000 tons of light naphtha for a three-month lifting period starting April. This was likely its first quarterly tender as it usually sells one cargo of light grade in the spot market. The rare quarterly offer came shortly after SK Energy, S-Oil and WEPEC sold their cargoes for March to April loading. Taiwan's CPC looking to buy 55,000 tons of full-range grade and 30,000 tons of heavy naphtha for April arrival at Kaohsiung did little to lift the mood.
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