Naphtha price dips, cracks marginally up in Asia

Naphtha prices in Asia were at its lowest in eight sessions on Monday, while naphtha cracks arose marginally by less than 1%. Some traders opine that while supply tightness was gradually easing it was not completely resolved, as per Reuters. Backlogs in the Mediterranean region were being cleared gradually following bad weather that had disrupted shipments. However, supplies from the Gulf have not been fully restored as colder weather has kept exports in check. Since information on the volumes affected was not immediately clear, the full impact on the market remains in doubt. Also, the arbitrage window that is now shut could have also given some support to the market. This support could be short lived as strength of the market is likely be offset by upcoming maintenance at Honam's and YNCC's crackers in March estimated to remove at least 300,000 tons of naphtha demand. The price for front-month H2-February slipped to US$950.50/ton, lowest since Jan 4. Naphtha cracks for H2 February edged up 60 cents to US$114.93/ton premium.
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