Energy is moving up though this has been of no benefit in terms of spurring aromatics markets. Futures oil finished the week near 93 $/Bbl, while futures gasoline made it back into 300 cpg territory. Crackspreads are wildly divergent with Brent figures near 14 $/Bbl and WTI near 34 $/Bbl. Regrade has dropped again and is now at 30 cpg. The global headline machine has eased off of European financial issues over the past few weeks and this has helped to weaken the US dollar. Also, equity markets have rebounded and oil seems to be trading hand-in-hand with the S&P.
North Sea Dated Crude rose above 113.50 $/Bbl on Wednesday and Thursday, its highest level since early May, but dropped back close to $112.5 on Friday after the publication of disappointing Chinese trade data. Stocks and other commodities have been following a similar pattern. Conflict in the Middle East keeps market nervous, and planned outages in the Buzzard and Troll fields in the North Sea will tighten availability for the Brent contract in both August and September. Gasoline climbed above $1060 and naphtha above $930. The euro strengthened above 1.24 as commodities rose, but dropped back to 1.226 (the ECB close) on Friday afternoon.
Crude has been firm during the week due to on-going tension in ME Asia, expectation of economy stimulus action in US and weaker USD value. Brent displayed the strongest gains with reduced production in the North Sea. That widened Brent to Dubai crude price spreads above 6 $/Bbl, a level not seen since early April. Brent crude price jumped past 112 $/Bbl during the week. Dubai price also firmed up above 106 $/Bbl. Naphtha price rebounded over $900 mark during the week in line with strong crude sentiments. It has been three months since naphtha price was seen in the $900’s previously seen in mid-May. Today’s value remains firm, closing at $937.50 compared to $916 CFR on Thursday. Demand from NE Asia, especially Korea, is healthy with stable operation of crackers with higher rate.