Naphtha prices in Asia linger at 18 week high, margins inch up

Naphtha price in Asia linger around a three-month high of US$923.50/ton while margins inched up 1.13% to a US$87.63/ton premium on steady demand, as per Reuters. Malaysia's Titan bought 30,000 tons of full-range naphtha for H2-September delivery at a discount of one dollar per ton to Japan quotes on cost-and-freight (C&F) basis on weak market fundamentals. South Korea's YNCC bought 75,000 tons of open-spec naphtha, also for H2-September delivery at premiums of about US$5/ton to Japan quotes on a C&F basis. As per traders, though demand was steady and naphtha margins slightly higher, overall fundamentals were not that strong. Markets have been volatile in the last few weeks mainly due to the Europe factor. Europe had previously limited its exports to Asia due to strong gasoline demand but that changed quite quickly and at least 400,000 tons of exports for August arrival in the East were done.
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