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Asia to get 150,000 tonnes of heavier naphtha grades

February 07/2012

(reuters) -- About 150,000 tonnes of mainly heavier naphtha grades will be shipped to Asia from the
Mediterranean in March, but a shortage in Europe is likely to halt further shipments to Asia.

The volumes are mainly heavy full-range and heavy naphtha, grades which can be used to make
paraxylene, a material needed in polyester manufacturing and production of PET bottles.
Open-spec grades, or those with a higher paraffin content, are usually used for cracking into ethyleneand propylene needed to make plastics.


Prices in Northwest Europe of most naphtha grades were rising as supplies were shrinking on refinery outages and shutdowns due to monetary losses. The strong European market may even result in Gulf/Asian naphtha barrels being shipped to the West in what traders term as 'reverse arbitrage'.

"The February East-West values are now at a discount, but March prices are still in a high single-digit premium. So there could still be a chance that Asia may keep the Gulf/Asian barrels," said another trader.

Author:Anna Larionova
Category:General News
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