Naphtha prices and margins in Asia rise as Formosa reduces run rates

Naphtha price in Asia has risen to a one week high of US$957/ton on Thursday, with margins rising to a two-week high of US$129/ton as concerns over tightening supplies triggered by reduced run rates at petrochemical units in Taiwan. Formosa has cut runs at its 2.93 mln tpa naphtha cracking complex to 80% until end-October following a fire at a monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant run by its sister company Nan Ya Plastics. Formosa cracks naphtha into ethylene and propylene among other hydrocarbon products and some of this ethylene feedstock is supplied to Nan Ya Plastics. However, the strength in the European market is expected to continue to affect Asia though October. Strong European naphtha market means lesser cargoes for the East. Reduced Western exports to Asia may be insufficient to feed demand in the East as South Korean crackers are still running at maximum capacity.
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