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Spot naphtha prices rise to 3-month high in Asia, Europe

by Cansu Koca -
  • 25/02/2019 (15:56)
Spot naphtha prices in Europe and Asia have increased by about 20% since the start of this year, recovering from a period of turbulence that saw prices hit multi-month lows. After dropping down below $500/ton during the final quarter of 2018, spot naphtha prices in both continents currently at their highest levels since November last year.

According to data from ChemOrbis Price Wizard shown below, spot naphtha prices on a CFR Japan and CIF NWE bases fell below $500/ton in late December last year, marking the first time prices slipped down the threshold since 2017.

The multi-month low naphtha prices were largely driven by the fluctuating crude oil prices. The pullback in global oil prices began in October 2018 amid signs of oversupply and economic uncertainties. As can be seen in ChemOrbis Price Wizard data above, WTI and Brent crude oil prices plunged more than 40% over the span of the just two months.

However, the OPEC’s production cuts helped WTI and Brent crude oil futures rise by as much as 30% above their late December lows and optimism arising from the ongoing US-China trade talks has also provided a boost to the prices.

In tandem with rising crude oil prices, the weekly average of spot naphtha prices in Asia has increased by $85/ton from late December 2018, when prices hit a 17-month low. The weekly average prices also shows that European spot naphtha has risen by around $90/ton from more than a year low level recorded in the same period.

The generally healthy demand in Asia and Europe were also cited as contributing factors to higher prices, in addition to the strong gains in global crude oil futures.
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