Naphtha demand in Asia peaked about two months ago, and has plateaued since. Prices have come under pressure from increased supplies due to higher refinery run rates in Japan, a weak gasoline market, influx of cargoes from India as well as huge arbitrage cargoes from Europe. There is a dearth of sellers offers as few of them anticipate a further bullish trend.
LG Chem has paid a premium of US$17.50/ton C&F to Japan quotes. The South Korean major has bought three cargoes of naphtha for H2 January on the spot markets. Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical bought 150,000 tons of naphtha for H2-January at a premium of US$11/tom to Japan spot quotes, C&F.