Naphtha spot price hits highest in more than 1-1/2 months
Asia’s spot naphtha price jumped on Friday to its highest since Nov. 25, amid hopes of a petrochemical demand recovery in China following the easing of the zero-COVID policy, traders said.
Spot price of the light fuel rose by $26.75 to $705 a tonne, while refining profit margin (NAF-SIN-CRK) hovered near the May 2022 high at $74.78 per tonne.
“The current strength is purely based on China’s reopening,” an India-based trader said.
GS Caltex emerged in naphtha markets to buy at least three parcels of heavy-full range naphtha for delivery in second-half February on Thursday, market participants said.
Gasoline stocks held at the ARA hub dropped by 4% to 1.367 million tonnes in the week to Thursday, and naphtha inventories rose to 380,000 tonnes from 307,000 tonnes, Insights Global data showed.
China’s exports of refined oil products could start 2023 with a drop of 40% in January from December’s figure, as Lunar New Year travel demand boosts domestic consumption of transport fuels, trading sources and analysts said.
China has set the import quota for fuel oil at 16.2 million tonnes for non state-owned firms in 2023, the commerce ministry said.