US Naphtha Price Decline Amidst Crude Oil Fluctuations and Geopolitical Tensions
- 06-Nov-2023 2:20 PM
- Journalist: Emilia Jackson
In the first week of November 2023, the US Naphtha market witnessed a 0.5% price decline, primarily attributed to the global downturn in Crude Oil values, which plummeted by over 3% during the same period. This decline in the cost of Naphtha's feedstock contributed to a noticeable reduction in production expenses. Notably, despite these price fluctuations, the demand for Naphtha remained steadfast, and the supply remained moderate. Furthermore, manufacturing activities in the US market experienced a slight upturn throughout the preceding month of October.
Naphtha prices may continue their declining trend in the upcoming week. This anticipation is rooted in strengthening the Crude Oil supply, particularly following the United States' decision to lift sanctions on Venezuelan Crude. The Naphtha supply within the US market witnessed an improvement, primarily due to a dip in the cost of its raw materials over the past couple of weeks. In the broader context of the US petroleum market, national pump prices have exhibited a consistent downward trend, with decreases occurring in 40 out of the last 42 days, beginning from the peak observed in September.
However, it's crucial to recognize that the reduction in Naphtha prices has been somewhat mitigated by the relatively stable price of Crude Oil. West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark US crude, concluded the week at a level close to the previous week's lows. This could indicate a balancing effect between the falling Naphtha prices and the somewhat resistant Crude Oil values, which have remained above the USD 80 per gallon threshold.
This week, the demand for Naphtha within the US market remained unwavering. The global drop in oil prices, primarily propelled by concerns regarding potential supply disruptions stemming from the conflict in the Middle East, did not significantly impact the demand for this product on the domestic front. However, the outlook suggests that Naphtha prices are poised to continue their descent in the forthcoming week, buoyed by the anticipated strengthening of the crude oil supply following the US government's decision to lift sanctions on Venezuelan crude oil.
The ongoing situation in the Middle East remains a pivotal factor in the oil market landscape. The recent commodity markets outlook from the World Bank delved into various scenarios regarding events in the Middle East that could affect oil supplies. In the event of a substantial disruption, akin to the Arab oil embargo of 1973, the World Bank foresees the possibility of a surge in oil prices, indicating the potential for market volatility and its repercussions on Naphtha and other petroleum products in the US and global markets.