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Commodities

Asian naphtha prices drop nearly 50% in 6 months

Cheaper crude oil and China slump weigh on key material used in plastics

A tanker carrying crude oil is inspected at a port in the Chinese city of Qingdao.   © China Daily via Reuters

TOKYO -- The price of naphtha has plunged by almost half in Asia since March amid declining crude oil costs and China's economic slowdown.

Like gasoline, naphtha is derived from crude oil. The material is a key feedstock for plastics, and its price serves as an indicator for a wide range of petrochemical products.

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