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Europe deep-sea naptha to Asia seen declining in April

March 03/2011

(ICIS) -- Asian naphtha backwardation is expected to widen further, helped partly by lower deep-sea European inflows in April, while a global crude rally has sparked off higher prices of the petrochemical feedstock, traders said on Thursday.

Backwardation spreads - referring to a market where prompt prices are higher than future prices - between second-half April and second-half May contracts widened to $7/tonne (?5/tonne) from plus $4.50/tonne on the previous week, ICIS data showed.

Meanwhile, the second-half April contract was valued at $1,000-1,004/tonne CFR (cost & freight) Japan on Thursday morning. The contract closed at $990-992/tonne CFR Japan on Wednesday, according to ICIS data. No deals were done.

The Asian naphtha crack spread versus Brent crude futures closed at $133.50/tonne on Wednesday, up $15.62/tonne from last week, ICIS data showed.

Before that, some 200,000-300,000 tonnes of European arbitrage naphtha was expected to be shipped to Asia in April.

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