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Added Aug 5, 2021

Naphtha strength: Atlantic Basin fails to supply Asian pull

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As we witness global naphtha cracks continuing strength since the spring, we can see that seaborne naphtha imports carry on with their impressive recovery reaching 3.34 mn b/d in July. Strong flows are expected to continue on the back of firm petrochemical demand East of Suez and European gasoline blending. Reduced arrivals in June were likely due to a lack of availability, contributing therefore to the robust price levels.

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As a specific illustration of continuing strong Asian import requirements, naphtha loadings heading to Japan surged 50% from June to July from Persian Gulf and Western Med, as we track growing volumes loading principally from the Middle East. Flows from top suppliers of naphtha to Japan, Qatar and UAE, rose by over 75,000 b/d in July, compared to June 2021.

Strong naphtha exports over the recent weeks, as well high product exports in general, have left the Persian Gulf with a close to year-to-date low availability of ballasting clean product vessels (everything from MR to LR2) within the 0-11-day window, potentially providing support for the respective freight rates.

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