The market price of naphtha for the first time since mid-December fell below US $700 per ton on Wednesday. Naphtha difference between month-to-month narrowed, due to expected decrease in demand in Northeast Asia.
South Korea and Japan crackers plan to carry out maintenance in February to April, suppressing the market. Spot buying slowed down due to expected high inventory of petrochemical manufacturers in Taiwan and South Korea for next month.
In Singapore spot market, Cargill sold to Itochu Corporation a naphtha cargo to be shipped in the second half of March at US $693 per ton. The price of Japan's benchmark open specification naphtha for the first half of March fell $11 to $699 per ton.
Month naphtha spread of between the first half of March and second half of March narrowed from +7 U.S. dollar of the previous day to +6 U.S. dollars per ton. Naphtha spread between the first half of March and the first half of April also narrowed to +11 U.S. dollars / ton.
Taiwan Oil Company bought 75,000 tons of full boiling range naphtha cargo to be loaded in the second half of March. This cargo (CFR Kaohsiung) was transacted at a premium of US $5-6 per ton over the average price of Japanese naphtha for March.
Last week, South Korea's Honam Petrochemical Corporation bought 50,000 tons of full distillation range naphtha cargo for arrival in Yuso and Daesan in the second half of February at a premium of $18 per ton over Japanese naphtha price (the formula price of 30 days).