News Code : 42919

Europe naphtha structural weakness tempered by strong demand in Asia, upstream refinery issues

European open-spec spot naphtha prices have increased this week amid a jump in a upstream crude oil values, while the product's structural weakness in the region is being tempered by strong demand in Asia.

Naphtha Open Spec Physical FOB (free on broad) Mediterranean spot cargo prices were assessed at $571.54-576.54/tonne on 17 May.

Naphtha prices were volatile last week amid a number of planned and unplanned turnarounds at crackers downstream.

Equally, volatility was caused by an ongoing widening in the spread between alternative feedstock propane and butane costs, and naphtha.

Western naphtha arbitrage volumes for May are estimated to between 1.4m-1.5m tonnes, slightly down from April estimates of 1.6m tonnes.

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