Weekly Bitumen News
- Bulk and drum prices in Iran slipped for the third consecutive week last week. But trading picked up and a flurry of cargoes were transacted at around $295-315/t for bulk and $370-390/t for drums.
- But market participants took to the sidelines by the end of the week to monitor this week’s price revision and competition for VB, foreign exchange rate and volatility in the crude prices.
- Indian demand continued to be soft due to the monsoon rains, but the trend is expected to change from October with a robust pick up in consumption anticipated from November. This increased enquiries for Middle East origin seaborne bitumen last week.
- Bitumen prices from Bahrain was at $440/t fob Sitra last week, while exports were muted.
- In Singapore, waterborne fob prices fell by $10/t last week. Few additional October spot cargoes were offered but a growing lack of vessels in the region limited trading. Prices in South Korea fell by $8.5/t.
Asia midday crude futures: Ice Brent eases further
Singapore, 26 September (Argus) — Ice Brent crude futures declined on 26 September, pressured by the strengthening of the US dollar.
At 04:00 GMT, the Ice front-month November Brent contract was at $85.65/bl, down by 50¢/bl from its settlement on 23 September when the contract ended $4.31/bl lower.
Iran’s IAEA objections derail nuclear deal: US
Washington, 23 September (Argus) — Tehran’s insistence that UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA discontinue its probe into nuclear materials that inspectors identified at a number of Iranian facilities has brought to a standstill talks on lifting sanctions against Iran, Washington says.
Iranian bitumen prices slide further with VB
Mumbai, 23 September (Argus) — Iranian seaborne bitumen prices fell for the third consecutive week because of lacklustre demand for vacuum bottom (VB) feedstock traded on the Iran Mercantile Exchange (IME) and a weaker rial against the dollar this week.
Asian bitumen faces pressure from vessel delays
Singapore, 22 September (Argus) — Vessel shortages and delays in the delivery of bitumen cargoes across Asia-Pacific are expected to soften short-term spot values in the key market of Singapore.
Indian August bitumen imports hold as expectations firm
Mumbai, 20 September (Argus) — India’s bitumen imports in August were mostly unchanged from the previous month as the monsoon season continued, although expectations are firmer about demand from October onwards.
Road spending to boost south Vietnam’s bitumen demand
Singapore, 20 September (Argus) — A greater emphasis by Vietnamese authorities on investing in expressway construction in the Mekong delta is to raise bitumen demand in the south of the country, with a moderate longer term impact in narrowing lagging consumption compared with the north.
China’s bitumen prices to draw support for rest of 2022
Singapore, 15 September (Argus) — China’s domestic bitumen prices are forecast by some Chinese participants to find moderate support through the typical low demand final quarter because of a potentially tighter supply outlook and roadwork deadlines ahead of an earlier than usual lunar new year holiday next year, although the impact could vary according to region.
Dollar strength hits currencies, oil prices: Update
Singapore, 26 September (Argus) — Asia-Pacific currencies fell further against the dollar in Asia trading today, adding to costs for the region’s big importers of oil and other commodities, while the UK pound slumped by almost 5pc to a record low.