Spot naphtha prices in Asia fell Wednesday, while the increase of the spread between near-term naphtha price over long-term narrowed.
Naphtha market conditions further weakened, because crackers in Japan and South Korea have reduced operating capacities, in view of expected decline in regional markets in March. At the same time, new arbitrage cargoes also weighed on the market.
However, economic benefits of arbitrage cargoes do not seem very stable. Early in the week, the spread between East-West naphtha prices was about US $40-45 per ton, which has now narrowed to about $35 per ton later, which could further inhibit arbitrage shipments in March.
Brokers said the price of benchmark Japan's open specification naphtha for arrivals in the first half of March fell $9 on Wednesday to $735 per ton. The spread between the first half of March and second half of March was + $8 per ton and the spread between the first half of March and first half of April was + $13 per ton.
Reliance Industries, an Indian company plans to sell more naphtha spot with shipment in February and its bids might decline from recent sales prices, because regional demand is expected to reduce.
Reliance released a tender to sell 75,000 tons of naphtha cargo to be loaded between 16 and 20 of February. Earlier, the company had sold 75,000 tons of naphtha at a premium of $40-42 per ton over the price in Middle East, with shipment in 3-7 of February, to a Japanese company.