December 19, 2022
Overview of past week:
- Bulk and drummed Iranian bitumen prices fell by around $20/t against the previous week due mostly to currency volatility, with lower feedstock costs adding to the momentum.
- Iranian bulk cargoes were sold at $332-355/t fob basis, compared with $375-405/t for drummed material. Premium embossed drums accounted for the higher price range in the latter.
- Indian consumption remains under pressure because weather conditions and tight funding continued to disrupt roadworks.
- Some south Asian bulk importers are incurring around $1-2/t of daily demurrage costs from congestions at loading ports in Iran.
- Listed ex-Mumbai VG10 and VG30 bulk and drummed bitumen prices fell by 1,640 rupees/t ($19.80/t) against the previous fortnight. Listed VG40 bulk and drummed cargo prices fell by Rs1,890/t for the same period.
- Iraqi drums were traded in the $372-390/t fob Bandar Abbas range, but any discount against competing Iranian prices was insufficient to generate firm interests.
- In Bahrain, listed prices were unchanged at $375/t fob Sitra.
- In Singapore, prices fell by $7-8/t on fob basis against week-earlier figures. This was in contrast to South Korean prices rising by $9-11/t fob basis over the same period because of a firmer outlook in traditional destination market China.
Asia midday crude futures: Ice Brent rises
Ice Brent crude futures posted gains in early Asian trading on 19 December.
At 04:00 GMT the Ice front-month February Brent contract was at $79.86/bl, up by 82¢/bl from its settlement on 16 December when the contract ended $2.17/bl lower.
Iran bulk bitumen prices fall for fourth week
Iran’s bulk bitumen prices fell for the fourth consecutive week on the back of overall weakness in the Iranian rial versus the US dollar.
India’s bitumen consumption rises on month in November
India’s bitumen consumption in November rose from the previous month because of stronger demand for roadworks following the end of the monsoon season. Demand was at 722,000t through November, up by 23pc compared with October, India’s oil ministry data showed.
But the demand outlook for December has so far been bearish as delayed disbursement of project funds by state governments hampered roadworks in parts of India.
China’s Chambroad to export bitumen from Hainan
Chambroad is a major Chinese independent refiner (known as teapots) that specialises in bitumen production and is based in Shandong province. The refiner is aiming to start its first bitumen exports around mid-2023 out of a recently acquired production facility in the southern Chinese island of Hainan.
Russian bitumen cargo exports fell in November
Russian bitumen cargo exports down in November. Cargo shipments of bitumen from the northwestern ports of Russia in November were 13,300t, down from 18,300t in October, both of which were much lower than exports in 2021.
India’s Nov motor fuel demand up on higher diesel use
India’s motor fuel demand rose on the year and on the month in November, supported by a rebound in diesel consumption, elections in two key states and stable fuel prices.
IAEA delegation to visit Tehran in coming days: Iran
Iran says officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) are due to visit Tehran in the coming days in an attempt to resolve a long-standing impasse over an investigation by the agency into undeclared traces of uranium in Iran.