Asian naphtha prices at lowest levels seen in almost 4 months
Weak buying interest, ample supply levels combined with soft crude oil markets have resulted in lower naphtha prices.
In July, naphtha cargoes directed from the West, including Europe and the Mediterranean fell to its lowest level since early 2013 in Asia while the quantity is expected to remain unchanged in August, according to media reports.
However, traders in the region expect higher Middle Eastern and Indian exports to offset lower supply from the West in August. Moreover, the Asian naphtha market is expected to remain weak in the July-September period as the supply glut is expected to persist and some producers in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea are expected to shut their crackers for maintenance in the October-September period.
According to ChemOrbis Production News, Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical is planning to shut its 1.03 million tons/year No.2 cracker at Mailiao in early August, which is expected to last around 50 days. In addition, Japan’s Idemitsu and South Korea’s SK Energy are also planning shutdowns at their crackers in the October-September period.
Please visit ChemOrbis Production News for more detailed and up to date operation news in all regions.
Meanwhile, European naphtha prices have also been on a downward trend since late June with prices declining by around $55-60/ton from early July. Players cite weak demand and crude oil prices holding below the $45/barrel threshold as the main reasons behind softening naphtha prices.
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