Rumays Intl. Trading Co.

Weekly Bitumen News December,12,2022


December 12, 2022


Overview of past week:


  1. Bulk bitumen prices in Iran fell by $6.5/t and drum prices slipped by $12/t respectively due to lower feedstock costs and weaker rials.
  2. Deals for bulk cargoes were concluded in the $357-370/t fob Iran range, while drummed cargoes were traded in the $398-425/t fob band.
  3. In India, demand slowed down across most parts of the country due to a lack of project funds and inclement weather conditions. 
  4. Listed ex-Mumbai prices are due to be announced by state-controlled refiners on 16 December. 
  5. Drummed bitumen cargoes from Iraq were traded in the $382-400/t fob Bandar Abbas range, while overall trading activities remained slow.
  6. In Bahrain, listed prices were unchanged at $375/t fob Sitra.
  7. In Singapore, prices slipped by $7.5/t on a fob basis, while prices on a fob South Korea basis added to its previous losses and slumped by another $40/t following news of an export tender at lower-than-expected prices.


Key News:


Asia midday crude futures: Ice Brent posts gains

Ice Brent crude futures recovered in early Asian trading on 12 December.

At 04:00 GMT, the Ice front-month February Brent contract was at $76.48/bl, up by 38¢/bl from its settlement on 9 December when the contract ended 5¢/bl lower.


Iran’s bitumen prices dip with weaker VB, currency

Iran’s bulk bitumen prices fell this week in line with weaker raw material costs and a weakness in the rial versus the US dollar.

The price gap between fob Bahrain and fob Iran bulk prices has narrowed in recent weeks to about $11.50/t. The tighter spread has also made Bahrain-origin cargoes attractive for some south Asian buyers.


China’s bitumen winter restocking on bumpy start

China’s bitumen winter restocking is underway, which should theoretically offer limited price support over the seasonally weak transition to 2023.

But confusion over the implementation of looser Covid-19 restrictions and its impact on bitumen consumption has split the market, threatening to slow winter purchases. This could fuel a steeper fall in seaborne prices from major export origins Singapore and especially South Korea for the prompter months, although most participants expect prices to regain stability after a post-holiday resumption of activity around late February to early March.


Firm diesel demand supports Indian state refiners’ runs

Indian state-controlled refiners continued to operate near maximum capacity in November because of current firm diesel demand and robust expectations for the short term.


Opec+ production edges lower on Mideast Gulf cuts

Opec+ production fell in November as cuts by Saudi Arabia and Opec’s other Mideast Gulf members more than offset an increase in Russian and Kazakh supply.


Iran eyes South Pars phase 11 start-up by February

Iran is on track to start production from phase 11 of the giant South Pars gas field by February after nearly two decades of work, head of state-owned NIOC Mohsen Khojasteh-Mehr said.

Publish for those interested.

Weekly Bitumen News December,12,2022