Naphtha starts the week at a three-session high

Naphtha price in Asia was at a three-session high on Monday, and cracks rebounded from an 8 month low to a two-session high, as expectations of fewer Western barrels arriving this month may have helped support sentiment temporarily, as per Reuters. Nearly 300,000 tons of naphtha was expected to arrive in June from the West, but the volumes are now capped at about 250,000 tons and traders have yet to fix any parcels for July arrivals. Uncertainty reigns whether the market has finally bottomed. Asia, if there are no major cracker outages, is structurally short of naphtha and last year imported a monthly average of 330,000-350,000 tons every month from the West. Currently, demand has been weakened by Formosa's cracker shutdown following a fire at a pipeline on May 12. However, players expect the market to gradually recover in the next few days, if the arbitrage imports are kept low. However, cracks are unlikely to reach levels seen at the start of th e year. The price for front-month H2-July open spec naphtha recovered by over four dollars to US$961.50/ton. Naphtha cracks recovered by almost five dollars to US$102/ton premium.
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