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Naphtha price index

This post is a summary of the Naphtha price developments. The price developments of Naphtha are expressed in US$ prices converted FX rates applicable at the time when the price was valid. Naphtha price index developments are calculated from multiple separate sources of data to ensure statistical accuracy.

The outlook for Naphtha prices, on the second tab, is generated from different inputs including:

  • Very recent price developments of immediate cost drivers of Naphtha prices
  • Recent price developments of underlying feedstocks which drive the price of Naphtha
  • Market futures for both cost drives and feedstocks of Naphtha prices
  • Adjustment of current supply/demand imbalances in the Naphtha market
  • Longer term trends in likely demand conditions

Further information on the Naphtha price index

 

What is Naphtha

Naphtha is a type of hydrocarbon mixture that is typically derived from the refining of crude oil or the distillation of coal tar. It is a highly flammable, colorless to light yellow liquid with a strong, pungent odor. Naphtha has a wide range of uses, including as a solvent, a cleaning agent, and a starting material for the manufacture of chemicals such as plastics and paints. It is also used as a fuel for certain types of stoves and lamps.

Naphtha is classified as a volatile organic compound (VOC), which means it can easily evaporate into the air and contribute to air pollution. As a result, the use of naphtha in certain applications is regulated to help control its potential environmental and health impacts.

 

How is Naphtha produced

Naphtha is typically produced as a byproduct of the refining of crude oil or the distillation of coal tar. In the refining process, crude oil is heated and separated into various fractions based on the different boiling points of the hydrocarbons it contains. Naphtha is typically found in the lightest fraction, which boils at a temperature range of about 30 to 200 degrees Celsius.

To produce naphtha from coal tar, the tar is first distilled to separate the various hydrocarbons it contains. The lightest fraction, which boils at a temperature range of about 30 to 200 degrees Celsius, is then further purified to produce naphtha.

Naphtha can also be produced from shale oil, which is a type of unconventional oil that is extracted from shale formations using techniques such as hydraulic fracturing (fracking). In this case, the naphtha is typically produced through a process called pyrolysis, in which the shale oil is heated to high temperatures in the absence of oxygen to break down the hydrocarbons into simpler molecules.

Overall, the production of naphtha involves a series of complex chemical processes that are typically carried out in specialized facilities known as refineries or chemical plants.

 

What is Naphtha used for

Naphtha has a wide range of uses, including as a solvent, a cleaning agent, and a starting material for the manufacture of chemicals such as plastics and paints. Some specific examples of its uses include:

Solvent

Naphtha is used as a solvent in a variety of applications, including the extraction of oils and other substances from plants and the production of rubber, resins, and other polymers.

Cleaning agent

Naphtha is often used as a cleaning agent for removing grease and oil from metal surfaces, as well as for degreasing engines and other mechanical components.

Fuel

Naphtha is sometimes used as a fuel for certain types of stoves and lamps. It is also used as a blending component for gasoline.

Manufacturing chemicals

Naphtha is a starting material for the production of a wide range of chemicals, including plastics, rubber, resins, fibers, films, and paints.

Industrial processes

Naphtha is used as a feedstock in the production of chemicals such as benzene, toluene, and xylene, which are used in the manufacture of a variety of products including plastics, resins, and synthetic fibers.

Overall, the uses of naphtha are diverse and widespread, reflecting its versatility as a chemical feedstock and solvent.

 

Further reading

 

Market information

The global naphtha market is large and continually evolving. Naphtha is a key feedstock in the production of a wide range of chemicals and products, and it is used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications around the world. According to a report by Mordor Intelligence, the global naphtha market was valued at approximately $101.8 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of $123.8 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.6% during the forecast period.

The demand for naphtha is driven by several factors, including economic growth, population growth, and the increasing use of plastics and other chemicals in various sectors. The Asia-Pacific region is the largest market for naphtha, accounting for around 50% of global demand, followed by Europe and North America. The Middle East is also a significant player in the global naphtha market, as it is a major producer of naphtha and other hydrocarbons.

Overall, the global naphtha market is expected to continue growing in the coming years, driven by increasing demand for chemicals and products that are made from naphtha and other hydrocarbons.

According to https://oec.world/ :

Petroleum oils, oils from bituminous minerals, crude are the world’s 1st most traded product.

In 2020, the top exporters of Petroleum oils, oils from bituminous minerals, crude were Saudi Arabia ($95.7B), Russia ($74.4B), United States ($52.3B), Canada ($47.2B), and Iraq ($45.2B).

In 2020, the top importers of Petroleum oils, oils from bituminous minerals, crude were China ($150B), United States ($75.1B), India ($59B), South Korea ($42.2B), and Japan ($38.4B).

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Notes on the price-data

  • We aim to update the data series on the 11th and 25th of each month (but we do not always make it for each chart)
  • The data for the current month and recent history are fine-tuned over time.
  • We are continually improving our data collection and processing methods and data will be updated from time to time as we improve the accuracy
  • We are working hard to upgrade the algorithm before April 1, 2023 and a further fine-tune by July 1, 2023
  • This the index trend of the price of the product group in general and not a single specification in particular
  • The source of the data are exclusively public non-confidential sources
  • We combine public publications, import/export records, company announcements, and sources of ad-hoc public information.
  • The chart shows the price trend,  nearly always taken from many statistically-correlated sources 
  • The data is presented in US$. The UOM of measure is shown in the Index list table
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