Weekly Bitumen News
- Bulk and drum prices in Iran slipped last week due to weak demand for VB feed. Trading picked up earlier in the week and a flurry of cargoes were transacted but trading subsided after VB prices fell by about 7pc or $20/t on 7 September. Market participants took to the sidelines to monitor this week’s competition for VB and volatility in the crude and fuel oil prices.
- Bulk cargoes were transacted in the $327-333/t fob range, while drummed cargoes were transacted at $400-417/t last week. Supply of Iraqi drums resumed from last week.
- Indian demand continued to be soft due to the monsoon rains, but a flurry of bulk and drummed bitumen cargoes were transacted into the region. Consumption is expected to resume from end September and show robust growth from November. Some dealers expect that summer demand, which was subdued due to funding issues, will surface following the end of the monsoon season.
- Bitumen prices from Bahrain remained unchanged at $460/t fob Sitra.
- Southeast Asian buyers continued to receive offers of Middle East origin bulk cargoes at around $540-545/t on a cfr basis last week, but no deals emerged.
- In Singapore, waterborne fob prices fell by $5/t last week due to the fall in crude and fuel oil prices but a flurry of deals were concluded for end-September to late-October cargoes. Prices in South Korea fell by $12.5/t.
Asia midday crude futures: Ice Brent eases
Singapore, 13 September (Argus) — Ice Brent crude futures fell slightly on 13 September on the prospect of slowing oil demand.
At 04:00 GMT, the Ice front-month November Brent contract was at $93.85/bl, down by 15¢/bl from its settlement on 12 September when the contract ended $1.16/bl higher.
Europeans have ‘serious doubts’ on Iran nuclear deal
London, 11 September (Argus) — The European participants in the Iran nuclear talks have “serious doubts” about Tehran’s commitment to reaching a successful outcome, placing a question mark against a return of Iranian crude to the open market.
Iranian bitumen export prices slip on weaker VB
Mumbai, 9 September (Argus) — Bulk bitumen prices slipped in Iran this week along with weaker demand for vacuum bottom (VB) feedstock traded on the Iran Mercantile Exchange.
New Mangalore port to build additional bitumen tanks
Mumbai, 7 September (Argus) — Construction is under way of storage tanks and associated facilities at New Mangalore port on India’s west coast to boost efficiency in the delivery of bitumen and edible oil cargoes.
Indian refineries run hard to meet domestic fuel demand
Mumbai, 9 September (Argus) — Most of India’s state-controlled refineries have been operating at maximum capacity so far this month to meet domestic transport fuel demand, especially with private-sector refiners Reliance Industries (RIL) and Nayara Energy focusing mainly on exports.